Bush Ahead in Key States

The election is 42 days away.

Poll Pulse

President Bush is doing well in battleground states that he won four years ago. According to polling by Mason-Dixon, Bush is ahead of Sen. John Kerry by 11 points in Arizona, 9 points in New Hampshire, 7 points each in Ohio and Missouri, 5 points in Nevada and a single point in West Virginia.

In states where no one was expecting much of a fight, new polls confirm that assumption — Kerry leads Bush in Illinois by 15 points, while Bush tops Kerry by 15 points in Kentucky and 16 points in Tennessee.

Ad Watch

Ad: 'War on Terror Agenda'

Source: Bush-Cheney

Voice over: "President Bush and our leaders in Congress have a plan: Enhance border and port security. Increase homeland security measures. Reform and strengthen intelligence services. Renew the Patriot Act, giving law enforcement tools against terrorists. Create a national counter-terrorism center. Transform our military. Give the military all it needs. Find terrorists where they train and hide. Learn more at AGENDAforAMERICA.com."

President Bush: "I'm George W. Bush and I approve this message."

Ad: 'Defend America'

Source: Kerry-Edwards

John Kerry: "Two hundred billion dollars. That is what we are spending in Iraq because George Bush chose to go it alone. Now the president tells us we don't have the resources to take care of health care and education here at home. That's wrong. As president, I'll stop at nothing to get the terrorists before they get us. But I'll also fight to build a stronger middle class. That's the difference in this election. I believe the next president must do both — defend America and fight for the middle class."

"Live With Regis and Kelly"

Kerry on Tuesday made an appearance on "Live With Regis and Kelly," where he took the stage to U2's "Beautiful Day."

Here are a few key lines from the exchanges between Kerry and co-hosts Kelly Ripa and Regis Philban.

Kelly: "You know, you're very handsome senator, is that OK to say?"

Kerry: [Laughing] "No, no, we're both married, its OK."

Regis: "How do you stay in shape?"

Kerry: "The last six weeks have been pretty hard for me" adding that he's not eating much. "My staff call it the starvation plan ... [but normally], I try to stay in shape, I love sports, I love to get out."

Kelly: "How's the missus [Theresa Heinz Kerry] doing with all of this?"

Kerry: [Laughing] "She speaks her mind" [audience laughing] ... "I truly love it because she tells the truth."

Kelly: "You two [Kerry and Heinz Kerry] should have a talk show."

Kerry: "We have other plans. We plan to have a talk show at a specific address for four years."

Funny Files

"The Tonight Show With Jay Leno":

"President Bush still continuing to lead in the polls. In fact, when John Kerry was told the latest poll numbers, he called President Clinton again. Not for advice — just to make sure he had his vote. 'You're still with me, right?'"

"Did you know John Kerry is going to be appearing on 'Dr. Phil' next week? Is that how bad his campaign is going? He needs grief counseling now?"

"What happened to John Edwards? You know, I thought you weren't supposed to go into your secret location until after you're vice president!"

"In a fiery speech at New York University, John Kerry lashed out at President Bush. Kerry said, 'By one count, the president offered 23 different rationales for this war.' And Kerry was furious; he's got twice as many as that!"

"Bush and Kerry are still arguing over the details of the debates. Here's what I'd like to see: Can they get the orchestra from the Emmy Awards for the debates? So when a candidate starts going on and on ... just play that song until they shut up."

"Late Show With David Letterman":

"Top 10 Bush Tax Proposals" as read by Sen. John Kerry:

10. No estate tax for families with at least two U.S. presidents.

9. W-2 Form is now Dubya-2 Form.

8. Under the simplified tax code, your refund check goes directly to Halliburton.

7. The reduced earned income tax credit is so unfair, it just makes me want to tear out my lustrous, finely groomed hair.

6. Attorney General Ashcroft gets to write off the entire U.S. Constitution.

5. Texas Rangers can take a business loss for trading Sammy Sosa.

4. Eliminate all income taxes; just ask Teresa [Heinz Kerry] to cover the whole damn thing.

3. Cheney can claim Bush as a dependent.

2. Hundred-dollar penalty if you pronounce it "nuclear" instead of "nucular."

1. George W. Bush gets a deduction for mortgaging our entire future.

"Late Night With Conan O'Brien":

"A Bush administration official told Congress that the war in Iraq could cost almost $60 billion. President Bush said he plans to pay for it with a video series called 'Prison Guards Gone Wild.'"

"Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn":

"CBS News issued a stunning retraction, admitting these documents, which questioned President Bush's National Guard service, are forgeries. The president's advisers knew the documents were fake because they imply Bush actually showed up for duty."