6) Just over a month to go until Election Day, and GOP Michigan Senate candidate Pete Hoekstra spent the weekend in Israel. Hoekstra said he was spending time overseas to get the latest information on the Middle East upheaval, the Detroit News reports. But the time spent abroad means he's losing valuable time on the campaign trail to press his case against Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. Hoekstra is the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. 5) The New York Times highlights the North Dakota Senate race, and whether Democratic nominee Heidi Heitkamp's "North Dakota Nice" can trump the state's conservative moorings. 4) Independent former Maine Gov. Angus King is breaking his "no negative ads" pledge in the Senate race, going up with a spot that targets GOP opponent Charlie Summers. "My Republican opponent and I disagree on lots of things," says King in the new commercial. "Charlie signed a no taxes ever pledge that will make it impossible to solve the deficit. He doubts climate change science, favors taxpayer subsidies for big oil, and thinks Washington isn't broken." Meanwhile, the Portland Press Herald on Sunday published results of a new poll, conducted by Portland-based pollster Critical Insights, that shows King with a "commanding" lead in Maine's open-seat Senate race. King outpaces Summers, 50 percent to 28 percent, with Democrat Cynthia Dill at 12 percent. But the poll of 618 likely voters was conducted two weeks ago, from Sept. 16-18. The Press Herald "received the poll results Sept. 20 and spent the following week analyzing them, contacting respondents, interviewing experts and developing articles and graphics based on the findings," according to the newspaper story. The poll has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4 percentage points. But in a clear sign the race has gotten more competitive, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee went up in the Maine Senate race with a $410,000 ad buy. The NRSC went up with a similar ad buy of their own attacking King last week. 3) Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, leads GOP Treasurer Josh Mandel 49 percent to 39 percent in a new Columbus Dispatch poll, which is conducted entirely by mail. President Obama has a similar lead of 9 points over Mitt Romney in the survey. 2) Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., and Elizabeth Warren will face off in their second debate at 7 p.m. tonight at UMass-Lowell. David Gregory, host of NBC's Meet the Press, will moderate. The debate will air in Boston on WHDH-TV, on NECN, and nationwide on C-SPAN. Meanwhile, two new polls released in the last two days show Warren with a slight lead: She leads 43 percent to 38 percent, with 18 percent undecided, in a Boston Globe poll released Sunday. And in a WBUR-FM poll released Monday, Warren leads 49 percent to 45 percent. 1) Ahead of the first presidential debate Wednesday, Romney focuses in foreign policy in a Wall Street Journal op-ed titled "A New Course for the Middle East." Scott Bland contributed
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