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Hotline Sort: We've Only Just Begun

5) Kentucky Senate President David Williams (R) is up with his first television ad, a 30-second spot titled "Tough." The narrator of the spot says Williams has a "proven conservative record." Williams is the front-runner on the GOP side of the gubernatorial race and is expected to advance to a general election match-up with Gov. Steve Beshear (D). It has not been a good news week for Kentucky Republicans. Over the weekend, Williams was forced to confront a story about his past gambling habits. Meanwhile, his GOP challenger Phil Moffett's "money bomb" failed to reach its goal. 4) We reported Wednesday that CNN will co-host an October debate in Las Vegas. Add one more debate to the schedule: Bloomberg and the Washington Post will host a Republican presidential debate on Oct. 11 at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire that focuses on economic issues. 3) A Wednesday late-night meeting between Obama and Congressional leaders did not produce a budget breakthrough that would avert a government shutdown this weekend, but the two sides agreed they had narrowed the issues in efforts to strike a deal. 2) Who will get blamed if there is a government shutdown? A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll finds that 37 percent (a plurality) say they would blame congressional Republicans if the current budget disagreement leads to a shutdown, while 20 percent say they would blame Obama and another 20 percent would blame congressional Democrats. Seventeen percent would blame everyone, and two percent say they would blame both Obama and congressional Democrats. 1) On Wednesday, Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg claimed victory over Justice David Prosser in the hotly contested Wisconsin Supreme Court race after an unofficial tally showed her holding a razor-thin lead. According to an unofficial tally by the AP, she was up 204 votes out of nearly 1.5 million cast -- a margin of 1/100th of a percent. A recount is all but certain in the race. The last statewide recount was in 1989 over a referendum to change the state Constitution, but Government Accountability Board Director Kevin Kennedy said there are no records of statewide recounts for races involving candidates since before 1913.

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