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More midterms: Dems' early-vote boost

The AP: “Election Day is already over for more than 3 million Americans, and a surprising number of them are Democrats. Republicans are gaining ground in turning out early voters compared with their showing two years ago, but figures from the first batch of states that offer clues about early-voting patterns still give Democrats an edge in a number of states and counties. ‘If people thought the Democrats were just going to roll over and play dead in this election, that’s not what we’re seeing,’ said Michael McDonald, a George Mason University professor who tracks early voting nationally. ‘They have got to be feeling a little bit better with the numbers that they’re seeing.’”

That said… "More Republicans have cast early ballots than Democrats since early voting got underway Monday in Colorado--a state with one of this cycle's tightest Senate contests," The Hill finds.

“Mississippi Gov. and RGA Chairman Haley Barbour is poised to embark on a whirlwind trip through gubernatorial battlegrounds with a group of top GOP governors, showcasing Republican leadership in the states on what the RGA’s billing the ‘Remember November Tour,’” Politico writes.

The Washington Post reports on the paradox between being a rising Latino star in the Republican Party like Susana Martinez in New Mexico, Brian Sandoval in Nevada, and Marco Rubio in Florida. “The nation's fastest-growing voting bloc - nearly half the voters in New Mexico, for instance, are of Latino origin - has largely shunned the GOP in recent years. Yet those Republican hopes may be difficult to realize, if only because the GOP's anti-immigration rhetoric is a primary reason Latinos have turned away from the party.”

ARIZONA: “White powder delivered in an swastika-covered envelope to the Tucson, Ariz., office of Rep. Raul Grijalva is a toxic substance, the Democratic congressman said the FBI told him Thursday afternoon,” MSNBC.com writes. “Grijalva received death threats in April, shortly after SB1070, the anti-illegal-immigrant law, was signed. He called for a boycott in response. He closed his Tucson and Yuma offices as a result of the threats, the Daily Star said. In July, after he called off the boycott, staffers found a bullet and a shattered window inside his Yuma office, the Daily Star said.”

CALIFORNIA: Mike Bloomberg’s stumping for Meg Whitman today.

CONNECTICUT: A new Suffolk poll shows Blumenthal leading McMahon 57%-39%.

FLORIDA: Former President Bill Clinton campaigned with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Alex Sink yesterday, where he “questioned [Republican nominee Rick] Scott's ethics and called his campaign ‘name-calling contest paid for ... basically in taxpayer money that was funneled through his health care operations.’”

IOWA: Mitt Romney, Haley Barbour, Bob McDonnell, and Tim Pawlenty are all heading to Iowa for Terry Branstad (R). Per the Des Moines Register (via GOP 12: Romney will be there Tuesday, Barbour and McDonnell on Wednesday, and Pawlenty next Sunday.)

KENTUCKY: The Louisville-Journal reports that Bill Clinton will campaign for Senate candidate Jack Conway on election eve.

LOUISIANA: “The father of Rep. Anh ‘Joseph’ Cao died Wednesday at age 78, the Louisiana Republican’s office announced in a statement Thursday,” Roll Call reports.

MAINE: A Critical Insights tracking poll shows Paul LePage with a 32%-19% lead over independent Eliot Cutler, and Democrat Libby Mitchell fading to third with just 11%. And in ME-1, Chellie Pingree was up just 45%-40% over Republican Dean Scontras.
NEVADA: “Republicans are mocking the embattled Nevada Democrat for seeming to take credit for saving the world economy from complete destruction in an interview Thursday,” Politico takes away from Reid’s interview with MSNBC’s Ed Schultz. “People have been hurting -- I understand that,’ Reid told MSNBC's Ed Schultz. ‘And it doesn't give them comfort or solace for me to tell them, 'You know, but for me we'd be in a worldwide depression.' They want to know what I have done for them.’” More: The National Republican Senatorial Committee's Brian Walsh called Reid's statement "either the height of ignorance or arrogance or, most likely, a combination of both."

“Republican Sharron Angle again called on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to ‘man up’ and take responsibility for the state's woes as she embraced a new campaign phrase plucked from Nevada's only U.S. Senate race debate,” AP writes. “Angle said Thursday that Reid must accept his share of blame for Nevada's record unemployment, bankruptcy and foreclosure levels and demanded the Nevada Democrat acknowledge Social Security's faults.”