The US and Iraqi offensive "to wrest control of Baghdad from insurgents and sectarian death squads is producing some of the most intense fighting of the war and a spike in American deaths," says USA Today. "At least a third of the recent fatalities happened in Baghdad. At the current pace, October would be the deadliest month since November 2004 when 137 troops died... White House spokesman Tony Snow said the spike in deaths would not make President Bush reconsider his options in Iraq."
The New York Times front-pages how Democrats, on the campaign trail and in TV ads, are mentioning the Iraq war while Republicans aren't. "It represents a startling contrast with the two national elections beginning in 2002… The development also suggests that what has been a classic strategy of Mr. Bush's senior adviser, Karl Rove - to turn a weakness into a strength - is not working as well as the White House had hoped."
The Republican National Committee is circulating a stark new web ad titled "The Stakes" which seeks to either -- depending on your point of view -- remind voters that the nation's security depends on the outcome of this election, or just flat-out scare people into voting Republican. The ad features images of Osama bin Laden and other known Islamic terrorists, along with quotes from them threatening attacks on the United States. The only audio is the sound of a ticking clock, which gets louder as the web ad reaches its conclusion with images of explosions and terrorists carrying guns. "What is yet to come will be even greater."