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* The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has made a $526,000 ad buy in the Arizona Senate race for the week of Oct. 2-8. It's the first independent expenditure the DSCC has made in the contest. The group has so far spent about $500,000 worth of coordinated money with Democratic nominee Richard Carmona.



* President Obama and Mitt Romney are running even among likely voters, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll showing Obama at 50 percent and Romney at 47 percent. The race has tightened a bit from the 52 percent to 46 percent lead Obama had in the survey in early September. The latest Washington Post-ABC News poll also showed an even race nationally, with Obama at 49 percent and Romney at 47 percent.

*  Obama’s campaign is out with a new TV ad casting Romney as weak on China. “A company called Global Tech maximized profits by paying its workers next to nothing, under sweatshop conditions in China. When Mitt Romney led Bain, they saw Global Tech as a good investment,” says the narrator of the ad. The commercial is running in New Hampshire, Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada.

* Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan (Wis.) said Obama's decision to draw  down tens of thousands of "surge" troops from Afghanistan was a political calculation. "They just pulled about 22,000 troops in September -- which to me is a political decision to have a drawdown before an election -- but we’re still giving our soldiers the same mission, the same counter-insurgency mission,” Ryan said in an interview.

* Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) leads Rep. Todd Akin (R) 50 percent to 41 percent, according to a Democratic poll conducted for McCaskill's campaign.

* The League of Conservation Voters launched a $500,000 TV ad buy in the Denver market for a commercial casting Romney as a supporter of "big oil" over the wind industry.

* The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has purchased $439,000 more in air time in the Indiana Senate race, a contest polls shows remains very tight. The National Republican Senatorial Committee also bought more time for the same week (Oct. 2-8).


* Democrat Keith Fitzgerald, the challenger against Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), has reportedly parted ways with communications director Ana Maria Rosato following a report detailing provocative blog posts she penned. In one entry, she reportedly wrote: "Republicans hate women, immigrants, African Americans, firefighters, police officers, teachers, citizens who vote for Democrats, the poor, the middle class, anyone but each other."

* Democrat Patrick Murphy raised $1 million during the third quarter for his bid against Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), and finished with over $400,000 in the bank. Overall it's a good haul, though West has been a fundraising juggernaut in his own right this cycle and had nearly $3.2 million in his campaign account as of late July.

* Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) launched a radio ad for Rep. Steve King (R) calling the congressman "the country's leading opponent of Obamacare." King faces former Iowa first lady Christie Vilsack (D).

* The National Republican Congressional Committee will go dark this week in Iowa's 1st District, where Rep. Bruce Braley (D) is facing Republican challenger Ben Lange.

* Most voters don't believe government spending has helped the economy, according to a Republican poll conducted by the Tarrance Group for Public Notice. The survey shows 52 percent said they believed federal government spending has hurt the overall economy, double the 26 percent who said spending helped the economy. Eighteen percent said it made no difference.


Computer remix.

With Aaron Blake

Updated at 5:53 p.m.