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The midterms: O'Donnell shuts out national media

"The White House and Congressional Democrats have begun stepping up attacks on 'extremist' tea party views that they say are infecting the Republican Party, but they are wary of going too far and alienating the most enthusiastic group of voters this cycle," Roll Call writes. But Democrats also told the paper that they don't think they have to do much, because in voters' minds the Tea Party and the GOP are already linked.

Responding to questions about the Republican Party’s new agenda rollout, scheduled for Thursday, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the plan “will help the president's message of wanting to go back to the ideas of 2008," The Hill reports.

“Citizens for the Republic, a conservative grass-roots lobbying group, plans to release a stark, one-minute ad on Wednesday called ‘Mourning in America,’ a play on the 1984 ad for Ronald Reagan, ‘Morning in America,’” the New York Times writes. “The ad is a blunt, almost point-by-point comparison to the hopeful, optimistic spot from Reagan’s re-election year.”

The Hill looks at House Democrats "working hard to create distance between themselves and their party’s leadership in Washington on the airwaves."

DELAWARE: Christine O’Donnell declared on Sean Hannity: "I'm not going to do any more national media." The Hill: “She plans on following the advice of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and shutting out the national press for the remainder of the campaign. ‘It's interfering with my ability to campaign,’ O'Donnell said of the national media presence in Delaware. The candidate said her campaign is asking event organizers in Delaware to limit press access at some events, ‘because of the frenzy these things have become.’”

O'Donnell also “took aim at New Castle County Executive Chris Coons (D) Tuesday night during an appearance on Fox News,” The Hill writes. “Prompted by host Sean Hannity about Coons’ years-old comment, she said, ‘If the media is going to attack me for statements I made in my 20s, that's fair game. He made some very anti-American statements, apologizing for America and calling himself a ‘bearded Marxist.’ … Coons said earlier Tuesday on CNN that the reference was made in jest, calling it ‘a tongue-in-cheek reference to how Republicans on campus’ viewed his transformation from a Young Republican to a Democrat… On her own previous statements about having ‘dabbled into witchcraft’ when she was in high school, O'Donnell said it was just a case of ‘teenage rebellion.’”

ILLINOIS: Republican Senate nominee Mark Kirk’s political allies have no problem calling his Democratic opponent Alexi Giannoulias a “failed mob banker,” but don’t expect Kirk himself to use the term, the AP writes. In an interview, “Kirk repeatedly refused to characterize his opponent with the same language Illinois and Washington GOP operatives employ…. But just in case there was doubt about the loans, Kirk brought along a handy sheet that highlighted the Giannoulias family's Broadway Bank loans to those with suspected links to organized crime.”

MASSACHUSETTS: "In a display of the increasing tension in the race, the three major candidates for governor attacked one another’s records aggressively last night in a major televised debate that focused far more on their pasts than on their visions for Massachusetts," the Boston Globe reports.

MISSOURI: “The Missouri Democratic Party released an internal poll yesterday that shows Senate candidates Robin Carnahan, Democrat, and Roy Blunt, Republican, tied” at 37 percent, the Springfield News-Leader reports.

NEW YORK: Mayor Michael Bloomberg will endorse Democratic gubernatorial nominee Andrew Cuomo today, NBC New York reports.

Is Carl Paladino really within striking distance of Andrew Cuomo in a new Quinnipiac poll? It has Cuomo up just 49%-43% among "likely voters."

WISCONSIN: Roll Call's Tricia Miller checks in on the Feingold-Johnson Senate race: "Feingold seems unfazed. He said polling taken for his campaign around the Sept. 14 primary showed him ahead. Still, Johnson is partly self-funding his campaign and won’t lack for resources in the home stretch… In the six weeks from now to Election Day, Feingold said, he plans to emphasize his role as an independent, bipartisan and accessible representative for the Badger State."