FLORIDA: A Quinnipiac poll shows Republican Marco Rubio cutting into what was a 29-point Charlie Crist lead in the GOP primary to just 15, 50%-35%. "The results resemble a reported Chamber of Commerce poll that had Crist up 44-30 and stirred talk of some unrest in the centrist governor's camp," The Hill writes. "And it is good news for a Rubio campaign that has been trying to prove to potential donors and endorsers that it is for real."
NEW JERSEY: Former President Bill Clinton's two appearances with Jon Corzine yesterday prompted the Philadelphia Inquirer to come to a similar conclusion about political heavyweights' involvement in faltering campaigns: "With two weeks to go in the campaign, these celebrity endorsers aren't trying to change minds: They're aiming to inspire the Democratic faithful to work hard." Introducing Clinton, Corzine said: "[Clinton] won in 1992, he won in 1996, and he's going to help somebody win in 2009."
As Corzine received the support of "Democratic rock stars," Christie opted for some more low-key appearances: "Christie was in Mercer County, where he held another kitchen-table event with voters to talk about taxes and assert that Corzine's policies have made things worse. Christie's camp also turned up pressure on Corzine to release information detailing his charitable donations from 2008, following the revelation that the multimillionaire governor gave $87,000 last year to the church of the Rev. Reginald Jackson, the influential head of the Black Ministers Council."
Car troubles have been a constant refrain in the New Jersey race, but not quite like this: Independent Chris Daggett's driver left a loaded gun in a car the nominee rented.
NEW YORK: "President Obama last night headlined a Manhattan rally where he offered such a tepid endorsement of fellow Democrat Bill Thompson for mayor that even the candidate said he didn't think it went far enough," the New York Post notes. As expected, Obama dropped Thompson's name at the DNC fundraiser in NYC last night, but, also as expected he didn't offer an endorsement for Thompson as he runs against incumbent mayor/billionaire Mike Bloomberg. "Our great city comptroller, our candidate for mayor, my friend Billy Thompson, is in the house," Obama said, his final acknowledgement after naming a string of officials. Asked if he thought Obama mentioning his name was an endorsement, Thompson said, "No, do you consider that an endorsement?"
VIRGINIA: The Richmond Times-Dispatch writes that gubernatorial nominees Creigh Deeds and Bob McDonnell "broke little new ground" in their final debate last night, sticking to the themes that have dominated their campaigns. Deeds accused McDonnell of not introducing "a single bill to create jobs" while a member of the House of Delegates and said McDonnell was "more interested in promoting a social agenda," citing McDonnell's controversial graduate thesis. McDonnell, as he has before, "held up a blank sheet of paper to signify his belief that Deeds has no [transportation] plan. Neither candidate expressed support for the public insurance option, now being debated in Congress, but Deeds "said he is not ruling out a public option and said Virginia must consider alternatives to reduce costs and increase coverage."
NBC's Chris Donovan, a careful debate watcher, notes that the candidates had an audio problem and instead of pausing the event to fix it for TV viewers, in the Washington, D.C. area, they cut away from the debate for Inside Edition.
Stumping for Deeds yesterday, Bill Clinton "offered the small-by-late-October-standards crowd an extended discourse on why Deeds' situation is not necessarily as bad as it seems." He used the underdog theme "to rally the crowd with visions of a defiant, beat-the-odds victory -- 'the greatest comeback in the history of American politics, folks," as [Clinton friend Terry] McAuliffe hyperbolically put it." However, "having some of the most celebrated names in Democratic politics reminding supporters that you are in need of a political miracle is not exactly where a candidate would like to be exactly two weeks from Election Day."