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More midterm mania

USA Today looks at how the McCain-Feingold provision requiring candidates to identify themselves as the source of the messages in their ads now means candidates are "delivering negative messages themselves." 

In CALIFORNIA, Orange County Republicans urged the GOP candidate facing Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D) to withdraw from the race "after he acknowledged that his campaign was involved in sending out a letter intended to scare off Latino voters.  "The episode was a jarring reminder of what some observers call Orange County's history of xenophobia and voter intimidation, an ugly distinction that Republican leaders say they've tried hard to bury." 

Former President Clinton will fundraise for FLORIDA state Sen. Ron Klein, who's trying to unseat Rep. Clay Shaw.  Klein hopes to raise about $500,000 from Clinton's visit.  The Miami Herald points out that Klein isn't the only one who hopes to "capitalize" on the visit.  Shaw "released a radio commercial acknowledging Clinton's appearance -- and used it as a springboard to cast his 26 years in Congress as a moderate, bipartisan tenure." 

Mehlman rallies with GOP House candidates in ILLINOIS.

In MARYLAND's hotly contested governor's race, "An independent group funded by Democratic and Democratic-leaning interest groups has spent close to $1 million on television and radio ads comparing Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. to President Bush."  In the not quite as competitive Senate race, the two candidates are airing dueling ads over just how closely GOP nominee Michael Steele is tied to Bush and his party. 

Last night's gubernatorial debate in MASSACHUSETTS was the feistiest yet.  Republican nominee and Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey "stationed supporters outside the debate posing in orange jumpsuits with signs reading 'Inmates for Deval Patrick.'"  Healey has been accusing attorney and Democratic nominee Patrick of being soft on a rapist and a cop killer.  Sen. Barack Obama (D) campaigns for Patrick today. 

With crime being a big focus of the debate, the Boston Globe truth-squads some of the facts and figures used by candidates in last night's debate and finds that both Patrick and Healey used inaccurate statistics. 

The Los Angeles Times is the latest to profile MINNESOTA's Keith Ellison (D), who is poised to become the first Muslim member of Congress. 

Presidential candidate and former NORTH CAROLINA Sen. John Edwards (D) campaigns with House candidate Heath Shuler in Asheville.

Presidential candidate and Sen. John Kerry (D) campaigns with SOUTH CAROLINA Democrats.

The two parties' biggest fundraisers descended upon VIRGINIA last night.  Bush raised about $530,000 for Sen. George Allen, while former President Clinton raised money for challenger Jim Webb (D).