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The midterms: Dems' outside group disadvantage

“Many wealthy Democratic patrons, who in the past have played major roles financing outside groups to help elect the party’s candidates, are largely sitting out these crucial midterm elections,” the New York Times writes.

The Boston Globe’s headline: “Middle class tax-cut issue backfiring on Democrats.” The story’s lead: “President Obama’s urgent call for Congress to immediately extend tax breaks for the middle class was supposed to create a defining Democratic issue and cast Republicans as defenders of the rich on the eve of crucial midterm elections. Now, three weeks later, Democrats are further divided and Republicans are using the tax cut issue to their advantage.”

Stu Rothenberg warns that the Senate could still be a “nightmare” for Democrats: “Delaware’s Republican primary may well have lulled Democrats into a sense of complacency about their ability to hold the Senate after November’s elections. They would be wise to wake up if they want to avoid a nasty surprise on election night.” He concludes: “Republicans would need a strong wave to carry through Election Day to make a 10-seat net gain. While that’s not yet likely, Senate Democrats can’t take their East Coast/West Coast firewall for granted.”

ALASKA: A CNN/Time poll has Joe Miller (R) up just 38%-36% over Lisa Murkowski (R), who’s running a write-in bid. Sitka Mayor Scott McAdams (D) pulls 22%.

CALIFORNIA: CNN/Time has the CA GOV race Jerry Brown 52%, Whitman 43%.

But is something off? CNN/Time has Barbara Boxer leading Carly Fiorina 56%-37%?

DELAWARE: Congressman Mike Castle has decided against a write-in bid. He said in a statement, in part: “While I would have been honored to represent Delaware in the U.S. Senate, I do not believe that seeking office in this manner is in the best interest of all Delawareans. Therefore, it's time for Jane and me to begin thinking about the next chapter of our lives. Much of my life has been dedicated to representing Delawareans and it has been my privilege and great honor to serve you and represent our state in the legislature, as Lt. Governor, Governor and in the United States House of Representatives. Delaware is a close community of people who find practical solutions to the complex challenges we face. That characteristic is something that makes our State a very special place to live. I look forward to continuing to serve our State as your Congressman in the remaining months of my term in a principled manner; Delawareans deserve no less.”

FLORIDA: “The Florida Democratic Party is throwing money behind a crushing new ad that reminds voters of [Gov. Charlie] Crist’s past as a partisan Republican, cutting together clips of the governor praising George W. Bush and Sarah Palin, talking up offshore drilling and calling himself ‘a Jeb Bush Republican,’” Politico writes.

According to the St. Petersburg Times’ “Buzz” blog, “The top two candidates for governor -- Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Alex Sink -- combined for 3,038 TV ads in previous Monday-Sunday,” according to a new Nielsen report. “That's about 1,200 more than all three U.S. Senate candidates combined during the same time.”

CNN/Time: FL GOV: Rick Scott 47%, Sink 45%; FL SEN: Rubio 42%, Crist 31%, Meek 23%.

ILLINOIS: CNN/Time has the Senate race: Giannoulias 43%, Kirk 42%.

LOUISIANA: “Trailing by double-digits in recent polls, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Melancon today unveiled a two-minute campaign ad that attacks Republican incumbent David Vitter his role in the D.C. Madam prostitution scandal,” the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

Roll Call: “Melancon Finally Goes Nuclear on Vitter.”

NEW YORK: “New York Republican gubernatorial nominee Carl Paladino alleged Tuesday that Democrat Andrew Cuomo was unfaithful to his ex-wife years ago, a stunning accusation that validated his earlier prediction that the race would be getting nastier,” Politico writes. “Paladino offered no proof of his claim, despite requests for substantiation, and he made it minutes after angrily declaring his 10-year-old daughter — a child from his own affair 10 years ago -- off limits to the press.”

Politico also links to a video of Paladino telling New York Post editor Fred Dicker that he will “take him out” if coverage of his daughter continues.