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GOP ahead of 2008 early vote pace, but still trailing

How Hurricane Sandy could test Obama’s leadership

Democratic poll shows Mourdock trailing by seven

A premature obituary for the moderate senator

John Sununu’s not-so-greatest hits (VIDEO)

Post-ABC tracking poll: Romney 49, Obama 48 — the power of campaign contacts

The Senate GOP’s still-viable path to a majority

Michelle Obama wakes Jimmy Kimmel with a bullhorn and discusses campaign, parenting (VIDEO)

A status quo election? Could be.


* Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) was hospitalized after a crash involving multiple cars on Interstate 15 in Nevada on Friday. Reid's office said in a statement: "Senator Reid and his security detail were involved in a traffic accident today on Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. Senator Reid was taken to University Medical Center Hospital by his security detail as a precaution, and walked in on his own. Senator Reid was wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident. He experienced rib and hip contusions and has been cleared for release by the doctors. Mrs. Reid was not in the car at the time of the accident. Some of Senator Reid's detail and a staffer had minor injuries in the accident and were evaluated at UMC."

* President Obama responded to former New Hampshire governor John Sununu's (R) comment Thursday night that retired Gen. Colin Powell endorsed him because both men are black. "I don’t think that there are many people in America who would question Gen. Powell’s credibility, his patriotism, his willingness to tell it straight. So any suggestion that Gen. Powell would make such a  profound statement in such an important election based on anything other than what he thought would be best for America doesn’t make much sense,” Obama said Friday. Sununu, a top surrogate to Mitt Romney, has since backed away from his statement. 

* Both the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee will pull out of the Maine Senate race,  which is good news for former governor Angus King (I), who both sides apparently believe will win. The NRSC has not advertised since Oct. 16, while the DSCC will run ads through Oct. 30, then pull resources for the final week before Election Day. King has still not said which party he'd caucus with if elected. 

 * Former attorney general Heidi Heitkamp (D) holds a slight 48 percent to 44 percent lead over Rep. Rick Berg (R) in the North Dakota Senate race, according to a poll of 600 likely North Dakota voters conducted for Heitkamp's campaign by the Mellman Group from Oct. 21-24. 

* Obama's campaign is up with a half-million-dollar ad buy in the Minneapolis-St. Paul media market, but the campaign insists it's not worried about the state and that the ads are meant to reach western Wisconsin. Mitt Romney's campaign just placed it's first buy in Minnesota, but the buy is just $30,000.


* The League of Conservation Voters and Majority PAC launched a new $1.2 million ad buy  hitting Rep. Jeff Flake (R) in the Arizona Senate race. "How has Jeff Flake spent his career? As a lobbyist for a foreign-owned uranium mining company and as a congressman who takes campaign cash from the same types of companies," says the narrator of the ad. 

* Romney has canceled a planned rally in Virginia Beach on Sunday because of Hurricane Sandy. Romney had scheduled three rallies in Virginia on Sunday, but will now skip the final stop. 

* The pro-Romney Ending Spending Fund super PAC will spearhead an effort to start getting "Mittzines" into newspapers in battleground states. The glassy-paged inserts will include positive stories from Romney's past intended to boost his image. One article is titled "How Romney’s Leadership Rescued a Missing Girl."

* Montana Hunters and Anglers, a group staffed by former aides to Democratic Sens. Jon Tester and and Max Baucus, is running a TV ad in the Montana Senate race that aims to boost Libertarian Senate candidate Dan Cox, in an apparent effort to peel away support from Rep. Denny Rehberg (R) and help Tester. 

* Obama is “not as good as he thinks he is” at basketball, NBA Commissioner David Stern said in an interview. Stern noted that he is a "loyal" Democrat, but added of Obama's hoop skills, "He's a lefty. He goes the same way every time."

* The South Florida Sun Sentinel newspaper, which backed Obama is 2008 is endorsing Romney this time around


The pocket ukulele. 

With Aaron Blake