Hi, I'm Bill O'Reilly.  Thanks for watching us tonight.

A brand new Fox News poll has President Bush and John Kerry in a dead heat.  That is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

The Bush-Kerry race could wind up as tight as the Bush-Gore race. [FNC Political Analyst and former Clinton adviser] Dick Morris and I will analyze the numbers a bit later on, but it's so close Ally McBeal (search) couldn't squeeze between the candidates.

The chaos in Iraq is obviously hurt the President.  And he isn't  doing well on the economy either, according to the poll.  John Kerry continues to have message problems.  And he also has a huge problem emerging with left-wing extremist George Soros (search).  I explain that in my latest column posted now on billoreilly.com.

I believe there will be some defining events between now and next November that will tilt the election one way or the other.  Also, the debates are shaping up to be very important this year.

The Fox poll also shows the nation is as divided politically as it's ever been.  "Talking Points" knows that firsthand as the mail is  intense.  Take this note from Richard Darty, who lives in Boone, North Carolina.

"O'Reilly, you keep saying you're impartial, but anyone can see you are anti-Democrat."

Right behind that comes J.D. Salmon, who resides in Crawfordville, Florida.  "O'Reilly, you have jumped on the liberal bandwagon in bashing Bush and your comments have lowered his approval rating."  

Well, both of those correspondents are obvious partisans, who see politics as us against them.  The truth is both candidates have flaws, as we all do.  And the litmus test once again is this -- figure out who Usama bin Laden wants in, then vote for the other guy.

"Talking Points" believes the next election is vitally important for the safety of you and your family.  And that's why we we're going to  be extra tough on the candidates, while being fair at the same time. 

Our analysis will always be backed up with solid facts and will be minus emotion.  People want to kill Americans.  The federal leadership is the only apparatus we have for protection.  To quote the talking heads, "this ain't no fooling around."

All we can promise is an honest appraisal of the upcoming election.  And we will deliver on that promise. 

And that's "The Memo."

The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day

Time now for "The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day"...

With the weather now nice throughout the USA, critters are appearing out West, there have been mountain lion attacks.  And in Florida, 12-year-old Malcolm Locke was swimming in Lake Diana near Orlando when he was surprised by a hungry alligator.  The alligator pulled Malcolm under the water, but the boy punched it and managed to get away.  The gator was destroyed.  Malcolm, as you can see there, has some head bruises.  Now I will not be swimming in Lake Diana any time soon.  To do so would be ridiculous.  Careful down there now.

--You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 & 11p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com