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More Midterm Mania

The Washington Times says Republicans are still expected to have a superior voter turnout operation. 

USA Today points out that "[f]or the first time since 1994, Democrats are poised to surpass Republicans in the number of state capitals where one party enjoys complete political control - holding the governor's mansion and both chambers of the state legislature," which will give them an advantage in redistricting. 

The Wall Street Journal profiles the ALASKA governor's race, in which the Republican nominee with comparably little political experience still leads the state's best-known Democratic politician, a former governor.  The Journal says her "main campaign theme of taking a tough stance on ethics is clearly resonating with many voters." 

In CALIFORNIA, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) said over the weekend that GOP House candidate Tan Nguyen should withdraw from his race if he knew his campaign was sending letters intended to threaten immigrant voters.  In a press conference yesterday, Nguyen said he's innocent and there's "no way in hell" he'll withdraw.  "Nguyen maintained that the letter was sent without his knowledge.  But he added that, after firing the staffer he said was responsible for it, he was asking her to return because he believes the mailer was fair." 

USA Today takes its turn writing up senior GOP Reps. John Doolittle and Richard Pombo's Jack Abramoff-induced vulnerability. 

In CONNECTICUT, Democratic Senate nominee Ned Lamont has now funneled $12.7 million of his own money into his campaign. 

Previewing tonight's debate in the FLORIDA Senate contest between Rep. Katherine Harris (R) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D), the Miami Herald relives the train wreck that is Harris' campaign.  

The New York Times reports on the toss-up contest between Rep. Clay Shaw (R) and challenger Ron Klein (D).  Shaw is playing up his seniority in Congress, while Klein tries to tie him to Bush, Iraq, and the Medicare prescription-drug plan.  "Mr. Shaw's district, to his detriment, borders that of former Representative Mark Foley… in a news market that is especially saturated with reports of Mr. Foley's sexually explicit e-mail messages to Congressional pages."  The Miami Herald says this race is the second-most expensive House race in the country. 

The Des Moines Register writes up the final debate between IOWA gubernatorial candidates Chet Culver (D) and Jim Nussle (R), during which Nussle accused Culver of planning to reinstate controversial lottery machines if he wins.

The Boston Globe profiles MINNESOTA House candidate Keith Ellison (D), who could become the country's first Muslim member of Congress.  Ellison "is poised to arrive in Washington at a time of acute tension between Muslims and the US government over treatment of Muslims at home and abroad.  His Republican opponent, Alan Fine, backed by conservative bloggers across the country, charges that Ellison's past association with the Nation of Islam -- and support he has received from another group that some say is affiliated with terrorist organizations -- should raise red flags for voters." 

Turning to NEW JERSEY, the New York Times profiles the Republican who has the best chance of winning a Democratic-held Senate seat: Tom Kean Jr.  "...[B]ehind that toothy overbite of a grin is a man who even some Republicans say can be too accommodating and cautious, leaving the impression that he wants to avoid offending anyone for the sake of future political positioning." 

GOP Senate candidate Bob Corker in TENNESSEE has distanced himself from a recent national party ad that accused Democrat Harold Ford "of taking money from pornographers, and... hinted at interracial dating." 

The Senate contenders in VIRGINIA are battling for women voters, among whom the latest Washington Post poll shows they're virtually tied.