Editor's note: Look for regular Trail Running field updates from CNN's anchors, correspondents and producers spread out across the country covering politics on the campaign trail. As always, the CNN Political Ticker is your source for up-to-the-minute political news– now even more so.
9:30 a.m. – District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty tells CNN he's "peaking at the right time" and predicts a Democratic primary win Tuesday over City Council Chairman Vincent Gray, despite polls suggesting otherwise. Fenty says "tough choices" have improved schools and security in the city but have alienated "special interests' and some voters.
4:15 p.m. - Just interviewed Delaware Senate candidate Christine ODonnell. She tells me that she'd love to land Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's endorsement saying "I admire Hillary Clinton" and adds "When I saw her Presidential ads I said: 'You go girl.'" She also says former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has inspired her because she "can relate to the politics of personal destruction and she survived them and they didn't get her down". She believes some of the attacks on Palin are the kind of "backlash" that happens "whenever a strong pioneering woman emerges onto the scene."
O'Donnell worries about "cannibalism in the Republican party" and accuses "the party" of trying to hold onto power, at the expense of principle. And what about the fact the conservative, non-profit organization FreedomWorks won't endorse her? She says they're "choosing to take the easy way out" and calls it a "shame" insisting "no one even thought we could get this far."
3 p.m. ET - On the road to Rehoboth beach Delaware for an interview with Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell. Stopped for BBQ at Belly's Deli – pulled pork on salad. A measure of how bitter this GOP primary has become? Sarah Palin recorded a robocall for her new endorsee, tea-party favorite Christine O'Donnell, in which she accuses the "Republican establishment" of making "vicious personal attacks on Christine." She calls it "desperation."
And the state Republican party says one of their officers got a death threat via email, subject line: "You deserve a bullet in the head!" The email accuses this person of being a "political ass-kissing RINO".
Count Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland among the Democrats who have decided to play the hand he has been dealt – meaning not running from the party label and the White House economic record and message.
In an interview Tuesday night, the embattled incumbent said there are hundreds of auto workers in his state whose jobs would "not exist today had it not been for the administration."
"You know, I'm not going to be overly critical because I think what he has done has been of help to us," Strickland said on the eve of President Obama's latest visit to the state.
Ohio has a double-digit unemployment rate, and Strickland trails Republican John Kasich heading into the final eight weeks. "I think people in Ohio and in America are upset with all of us," Strickland said of the tough climate for incumbents and particularly Democrats. "There are no easy answers."
Editor's note: Trail Running will be the source for field updates from CNN's anchors, correspondents and producers spread out across the country covering politics on the campaign trail. As always, the CNN Political Ticker is your source for up-to-the-minute political news – now even more so.
6:32 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Good union turnout for the Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh. Traditional campaign kickoff – and this week the AFL-CIO kicks its voter contact/turnout operation into gear.
Jack Shea, the veteran Allegheny County Labor Council president, says he knows it's a tough year and many conservative union workers probably thinking of voting GOP. But he says they will get between eight and 12 contacts over next eight weeks – phone calls, work site visits etc. – and he predicts when they hear the "full story" turnout will be strong and vote strongly Democratic.
Editor's note: Trail Running will be the source for field updates from CNN's anchors, correspondents and producers spread out across the country covering politics on the campaign trail. As always, the CNN Political Ticker is your source for up-to-the-minute political news– now even more so.
1247 p.m. ET: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - Walked some of the Labor Day parade with Congressman Joe Sestak, the Democratic Senate nominee. He acknowledges he's down "single digits" against Republican opponent Pat Toomey but says he's confident he can win. Says his key is proving he is "an independent voice who happens to believe in Democratic principles." Whatever you think of his politics, he's an energetic campaigner - running from side to side to glad hand during the parade.