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More Midterm Mania

In the CALIFORNIA governor's race, the Los Angeles Times says, one of the main debates is a "squabble over how much of a Republican [Gov. Arnold] Schwarzenegger really is - and whether voters should care." 

About 300 people will pay $1,000 each to attend Bush's fundraiser for Beauprez in COLORADO today.  The Medill News Service says that "[b]ringing in the president is a calculated risk Beauprez and other candidates are taking.  Despite Bush's sagging popularity, he remains a powerful force for Republican coffers." 

A poll of CONNECTICUT's hottest House race between moderate GOP Rep. Chris Shays and Democrat Diane Farrell shows Shays leading Farrell 44%-40%. 

In their first debate, the candidates facing off for IOWA's most competitive House seat -- Mike Whalen (R) and Bruce Braley (D) clashed over the Iraq war.  Braley said Iowans no longer support the war and suggested troop withdrawal, while Whalen predicted such a move would only create chaos in the Middle East. 

Last night's MARYLAND Senate debate offered striking contrasts on Iraq and other issues and few niceties between the two major-party contenders, while the hotly contested gubernatorial race is focused right now on who has better crime-fighting credentials in Baltimore.   and

Bloomberg takes the latest look at how a loss in NEW JERSEY might keep Democrats from retaking the Senate, and saying that it that happens, the party may blame Gov. Jon Corzine (R) for picking Menendez to fill his Senate seat. 

Bloomberg also notes that Republicans in NEW YORK are "risking their first complete shutout" from statewide offices "since 1938."  (We'd note that that's some legacy for GOP presidential candidate and Gov. George Pataki.) 

The latest revelation from Woodward's new book: that Bush, in 2004, referred to OHIO gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell (R) as a "nut."  But the White House is denying Bush ever said that, the Columbus Dispatch writes. 

In the PENNSYLVANIA Senate race, the state Supreme Court has rebuffed Green party candidate Carl Romanelli's bid to get on the November ballot.  "The ruling, in a one-sentence order, was good news for the Bob Casey campaign, which had feared that Mr. Romanelli's presence on the ballot would siphon votes from the Democrat.  For the same reason, it was a blow to Sen. Rick Santorum." 

Sen. Hillary Clinton's appearance in VIRGINIA yesterday for Senate nominee Jim Webb (D) was intended to help Webb court women voters, says the Washington Post.  "The Senate candidates' views toward women have become a central character issue of the campaign.  [Incumbent George] Allen, who has had problems with questions about his racial sensitivity, has sought to shift attention to Webb's opposition 27 years ago to women in combat."