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More midterm mania

Karl Rove has raised more than $12 million for Republican candidates this cycle.  "The total is remarkable for a White House staffer, more than any aide has been known to raise before...  Rove's fundraising total also shows that despite Democrats' persistent efforts to demonize him,... Rove remains very popular with rank-and-file conservatives."  (We wonder how much Tony Snow will raise?) 

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that traditionally GOP-leaning businesses in California are dishing out funds to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's campaign in anticipation of Democrats winning the House. 

The Los Angeles Times notes how Democrats can only retake the Senate if they win seats in a bunch of red states.  "Election day will decide whether discontent over the nation's direction overrides entrenched GOP advantages, especially among rural voters, in these culturally conservative states." 

The New York Times takes a look at the 527 groups -- for example, the GOP-leaning Americans for Honesty on Issues and the Democratic-leaning Majority Action -- that have begun to air TV ads in key battlegrounds. 

CALIFORNIA Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) will appear on The Tonight Show this evening, and Democratic opponent Phil Angelides' campaign is protesting Schwarzenegger's free airtime, charging that NBC is violating FCC regulations by inviting the Governor to appear on the show during campaign season.

A University of CONNECTICUT/Hartford Courant poll shows Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) leading Democratic nominee Ned Lamont by eight points. 

MASSACHUSETTS Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey (R), who's running for governor, has another ad attacking Democratic opponent Deval Patrick for his "advocacy on behalf of a convicted rapist," while Patrick is running ads blaming Healey and retiring Gov. Mitt Romney (R) for "'crushing property taxes,' rising crime and police layoffs, the Big Dig tunnel collapse, and job losses."

The Boston Herald issues a blow, writing that according to records kept during Patrick's tenure in the Clinton Justice Department, he "championed the constitutional 'rights' of convicted rapists and murderers, demanding they be given juice, clean sheets, cold tuna sandwiches, white underwear and properly inflated basketballs." 

The Washington Post says that "values voters" in OHIO are dispirited because of ethical problems plaguing Republicans and because of the state's economy.  "Leaders of the religious right here promised... to reshape Ohio's political landscape.  They pledged to support candidates determined to 'bring spiritual revival and moral reformation to the state,' in the words of Reformation Ohio, an evangelical outreach effort.  No one better embodied that promise than [gubernatorial nominee Ken] Blackwell." 

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes that the Republican Governors Association is launching GOTV efforts in six states.  But PENNSYLVANIA isn't among them.  "The GOP group is focusing on races for governor in Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Michigan and Oregon.  Does this mean that national Republicans have given up on Pennsylvania gubernatorial hopeful Lynn Swann…?" 

In the two Senate races that weren't expected to be competitive early on, national Democrats are pouring resources into VIRGINIA, where GOP Sen. George Allen is struggling, while Republicans are holding their fire in NEW JERSEY, where Sen. Bob Menendez (D) is in trouble, The Hill notes.  Former President Clinton will appear for Virginia candidate Jim Webb (D) next week. 

And the AP writes that the "usually ho-hum race for WISCONSIN secretary of state is being spiced up by one candidate's tell-all book about her bed-hopping exploits with Green Bay football legends during the team's glory days under Vince Lombardi in the 1960s."