Trail Mix |

Sen. John McCain is returning to North Carolina on Tuesday for a rally in Fayetteville at the Crown Center. Singer Hank Williams Jr. is scheduled to perform. Doors open at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Tickets are available at

That's the same venue Barack Obama used for his recent appearance in North Carolina. (Raleigh) News & Observer

The pharmaceutical industry is underwriting one of the biggest issue ad campaigns of the election season – a $13 million televised thank you to 28 lawmakers, most of them Democrats, who supported legislation last year to expand a children's health insurance program. Insured children are more likely to have access to treatment and preventive care, the ads note.

Only three Republicans, all locked in tight races for re-election, are singled out by the flattering ads: Sens. Gordon Smith of Oregon and Susan Collins of Maine and Rep. Phil English of Pennsylvania. Associated Press

John McCain's election night watch party might be missing John McCain. Instead of appearing before a throng of supporters at the Biltmore Hotel in Phoenix on Nov. 4, the GOP presidential nominee plans to deliver post-election remarks to a small group of reporters and guests on the hotel's lawn.

Aides said that the arrangement was due to space limitations and that McCain might drop by the election watch party at some other point. McCain's remarks will be piped electronically into the party, aides said.

Only a small press pool – mostly those who have traveled regularly with the candidate, plus a few local reporters – will be physically present when he speaks. Associated Press