Welcome back to Hotline Sort. First presidential debate is tonight, Ryan is hosting a fundraising for Tommy Thompson, New Hampshire's gubernatorial race looks tight in a new poll, and you can vote on your favorite presidential candidate's Cheeto-likeness.
9) Today, Chester Cheetah, the Cheetos spokescat, is unveiling 3' by 4' Cheetos portraits of President Obama and Mitt Romney. The portraits will debut on Facebook today, and are made of more than 2,000 Cheetos. Starting at noon EST, you can vote at www.facebook.com/Cheetos for your favorite.
8) Tracker drama for Ohio GOP Senate nominee Josh Mandel, per the Columbus Dispatch, who had a reporter with Mandel at the time of the incident:
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Josh Mandel said a political video tracker "made the initial physical contact with me" in an incident that occurred Friday in a public elevator, offering an explanation that is not supported by eyewitness accounts nor the video of the incident and is a twist from the original statement put out by the Mandel campaign.
On Saturday, The Dispatch reported that Mandel approached and ultimately grabbed a monopod attached to a camera held by a tracker from the American Bridge 21st Century political-action committee, who had been following Mandel for several minutes and ultimately boarded the same Rhodes Tower elevator.
7) Retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe
, R-Maine, is using about a quarter of the money left in her campaign coffers to launch a PAC that she says will support candidates and elected officials who work on consensus-building, the Bangor Daily News reports
The committee's treasurer said they doesn't expect to make endorsements or contributions to candidates this cycle.
6) In Washington's gubernatorial race, GOP Attorney General Rob McKenna
and former Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee
met for another debate. The Seattle Times reports
that the two accused each other of dishonesty regarding plans to raise taxes.
5) An internal poll conducted for Rep. Larry Kissell
's, D-N.C., campaign finds the incumbent statistically tied with Republican challenger Richard Hudson
just over a month from Election Day. Kissell takes 40 percent of the vote to 39 percent for Hudson in the survey, with the remainder undecided. An August internal for Kissell's campaign him up 43-39. Kissell's campaign notes in its polling memo that Hudson is still under 40 percent despite millions of dollars spent on his behalf this summer and that Kissell's share could expand as voters new to North Carolina's 8th District get to know him. But Kissell's inability to get out of the low-40s also demonstrates why this seat is considered a top GOP pickup opportunity, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has cancelled several weeks of advertising earmarked for the 8th District.
The poll was conducted for Kissell's campaign by Anzalone Liszt Research, which surveyed 400 likely voters from Sept. 25-27. The margin of error is plus-or-minus 4.9 percentage points.
4) Democrat Maggie Hassan
and Republican Ovide Lamontagne
are in a tight race for New Hampshire governor, a new WMUR-TV Granite State Poll shows
. Results of the poll released on Monday showed President Obama
opening up a significant lead in the state, but the gubernatorial race remains tight, with a sizable percentage of voters still undecided.
Hassan leads Lamontagne in the poll, 42 percent to 40 percent, with 16 percent undecided. The poll of 600 likely voters was conducted Sept. 27-30 by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.
3) More help for Democratic Rep. Chris Murphy
in the Connecticut Senate race: The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee this week reported spending $292,584 on a new television ad targeting GOP nominee Linda McMahon
, the Associated Press reports
2) Paul Ryan will host
a fundraiser with Wisconsin GOP Senate nominee Tommy Thompson
on Oct. 14 in Milwaukee. Thompson has noted his fundraising difficulties coming out of a bruising primary.
1) Obama and Romney meet for their first debate at 9 p.m. tonight.
From the Washington Post
's Dan Balz
: 8 questions about the debates
The New York Times
looks at a few things to watch
And here's National Journal
's take on the stakes
-- Scott Bland contributed.