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More Midterm Mania

MSNBC continues its wall-to-wall political coverage with a guest list including Tennessee Senate nominee Harold Ford (D), Texas gubernatorial candidate Kinky Friedman (I), and Mark Foley replacement candidate Joe Negron (R).

The Washington Post is the latest to put an estimated price tag on campaign advertising this year, well over $2 billion, as it looks at some of the 600 new TV ads candidates aim to air in the final days of the cycle.  The story says some Republicans are "trying to shift attention from Iraq and President Bush to local issues such as the environment, taxes and immigration." 

USA Today takes the latest look at Democratic efforts to catch up to Republicans in microtargeting to get out the vote. 

DNC chair Howard Dean campaigns in Toledo, OH and at several stops in Michigan.  RNC chair Ken Mehlman campaigns in Kentucky and Maryland. 

Former President Clinton campaigns with gubernatorial candidate Mike Beebe (D) in Arkansas today before heading to Wisconsin to headline an event for the state party.  Sen. Barack Obama (D) campaigns with his party's Senate and gubernatorial nominees in Maryland, then heads to Massachusetts to campaign with gubernatorial frontrunner Deval Patrick.

While stumping for vulnerable CALIFORNIA Rep. John Doolittle (R) yesterday, Laura Bush made an appeal for "'civility and respect'" this campaign season, the Sacramento Bee writes.  "Unlike her husband, President Bush, who has campaigned for GOP House and Senate candidates by aggressively attacking Democrats as a party of defeatism in Iraq and the war on terror, the first lady was understated as she called for support of troops in battle." 

Charges from liberal bloggers that the Democratic party has abandoned CONNECTICUT Senate nominee Ned Lamont are picking up coverage in advance of Lamont's anticipated loss to Sen. Joe Lieberman on election day.  Also, actor Paul Newman is starring in a new ad for Lamont.  In the ad, Newman says Connecticut "needs someone who is young, fresh and spunky," adding that 18 years in the Senate for Lieberman is enough. 

With Republican incumbents on defense in both of NEW HAMPSHIRE's House races, the Boston Globe writes that the red state may be falling into the swing-state category.  Analysts say the defeat of Reps. Charlie Bass or Jeb Bradley "coming two years after the election of a popular Democratic governor and victory for a Democratic presidential candidate, would mark a shift in New Hampshire...  Crusty, frugal New Hampshire has long been thought of as Republican territory . Now, it may join its heavily Democratic New England neighbors." 

NEW JERSEY Sen. Bob Menendez (D) campaigns with former Sen. Bill Bradley.

PENNSYLVANIA Gov. Ed Rendell, Senate candidate Bob Casey and other Democrats get the support of former Sen. John Edwards at a rally in Philadelphia, after which Edwards will hold a press conference.

Dueling polls in the TENNESSEE Senate race caused a fierce exchange of press releases yesterday.  A new Zogby poll taken for Reuters showed Democrat Harold Ford trailing Republican Bob Corker by 10 points.  It was the second poll this week to show a margin wider than just a few points in either direction, and the Ford campaign (as it did with the previous poll) tried to shoot the poll down, continuing to insist that their own private polling suggests the race is basically tied, and that the nonpartisan survey's sample may not have been as accurate a sample of the electorate as theirs.  The Democratic Senate campaign committee pitched in by releasing its own survey on the race which showed Ford leading by six points.

VERMONT Rep. Bernie Sanders (I) would become the Senate's first socialist if he wins next week.  "To many political observers, a Sanders win would be convincing evidence of Vermont's political shift to the left," notes the Boston Globe.

In Norfolk, VIRGINIA Senate candidate Jim Webb (D) campaigns with Richmond Mayor Doug Wilder, who was also the first (and so far, only) African-American to be elected governor.  Yesterday, Webb campaigned with Obama, Michael J. Fox, and Wes Clark.  On Monday he'll campaign with former President Clinton.  Sen. George Allen (R) has a string of smaller local events planned.  He has campaigned with Senate colleague John Warner and "will be joined by members of the state's Republican congressional delegation in coming days."