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TPMDC Morning Roundup

Gates Sees Progress In Tour Of Afghan War Zone
The Associated Press reports: "U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday he saw and heard evidence that the U.S. counterinsurgency strategy is taking hold in critical Kandahar province. Gates toured U.S. bases and met with troops in the thick of the fighting in Kandahar city and the Taliban haven of Zhari district, west of the city. 'I come away from my visits down here today encouraged,' Gates told reporters traveling with him. He said that signs of progress were incremental but growing. Still, he added, 'Everybody knows this is far from a done deal.'"

GOP Works to Woo Voters But Not Give Rivals Fodder
The Wall Street Journal reports: "House Republicans are hunting for an election-season middle ground on which they can make promises to voters without providing enough details to be attacked by Democrats. At the same time, some Republican candidates are independently embracing controversial proposals for Social Security and other topics that Democrats have already begun using against the GOP."

Gov. Candidates In 20 States Endorse Anti-Immigration Laws
Politico reports: "In states far from the Mexico border -- from liberal Massachusetts to moderate Iowa -- Democrats and Republicans in gubernatorial races are running on strict anti-illegal-immigration platforms, pledging to sign an array of tough enforcement measures into law come January. Of the 37 gubernatorial races this year, candidates in more than 20 states have endorsed adopting a strict Arizona-style immigration law or passing legislation that makes it harder for illegal immigrants to live, work and access basic public benefits in their states, according to a POLITICO analysis."

Fewer Young Voters See Themselves As Democrats
The New York Times reports: "The college vote is up for grabs this year -- to an extent that would have seemed unlikely two years ago, when a generation of young people seemed to swoon over Barack Obama. Though many students are liberals on social issues, the economic reality of a weak job market has taken a toll on their loyalties: far fewer 18- to 29-year-olds now identify themselves as Democrats compared with 2008."