Click below to see what stories the CNN Political Unit has its eye on today!
Making News Today… Candidates shun Michigan primary
WASHINGTON (CNN) — Five Democratic presidential candidates Tuesday officially withdrew their names from Michigan's January 15 primary, rendering the event virtually insignificant. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, and Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio all announced the move Tuesday, the deadline for filing such paperwork. The DNC voted to punish states that moved up their primaries earlier than February 5, 2008, by banning their delegates from participating in next summer's Democratic National Convention. So far, Florida and Michigan have done so and the Democratic candidates have agreed not to campaign in those states. The deadline for candidates to withdraw their names from Florida's ballot is October 31.
–CNN's Alex Mooney and Lauren Kornreich
Fred Thompson's report card
WASHINGTON (CNN) — After former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson faced his rivals during his first Republican presidential debate on Tuesday, the question is: how did he do? CNN's Chief National Correspondent John King said he "seemed a bit rusty, right at the top." "He came into this debate, with one key goal, try to reach out to the conservative base of the Republican Party, present himself a conservative, a guy who can win the primary election," King said after the debate. "He was literally standing at center stage among the nine candidates. Right out of the box, his effort to show Republicans a Fred Thompson administration would mean low taxes and small government." But Thompson didn't end up being the only target of his rivals, as some of GOP candidates slammed Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-New York, for her economic policies. "Hillary is filled with endless ways to spend and we're going to have to control that," former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said.
–CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich