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Uh-oh. One Empire State notable has suggested that Sen. drop out of the race for the White House.

“I would say at this point we’re starting to see a little desperation on the part of the woman who I support and I’ll support until whatever time she makes a different determination,” New York Gov. yesterday told WAMC, a New York affiliate of National Public radio.

But it wasn’t without regret.

“I thought she was the best candidate and I thought she had the best chance of winning,” Mr. Paterson said.

Surprise: An election-obsessed press has misread its public. According to the Pew Research Center, Americans were most interested in news coverage about gasoline prices, with about a third citing fuel woes as the “most important story” right now. Gas, though, accounted for just 3 percent of the coverage.

The presidential race was rated most compelling by 20 percent - but took up 37 percent of the total coverage. News channels proved particularly election-centric: The election commanded 74 percent of all stories on cable news.

The survey of 1,009 adults was conducted May 16-19 and has a margin of error of three percentage points.

The White House nominated a senior Republican Senate aide yesterday to fill a seat on the Federal Election Commission, replacing a nominee who withdrew in the face of Democratic opposition.

is the Republican chief counsel on the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration. Also yesterday, the rules committee sent three other FEC candidates to the Senate for a vote. The six-member commission that regulates federal elections and campaign finances has been inactive because it has not had a quorum to conduct business.

Mr. Petersen would replace , a former Justice Department official whose oversight of voting rights matters sparked Democratic opposition, forcing his withdrawal last week.

“This prompt action provides a path toward seating a fully functioning, bipartisan commission,” Senate Minority Leader of Kentucky said in a statement.

A political action committee chaired by went active yesterday in Boston to further the efforts of conservative Republicans.

The Free and Strong America PAC will support candidates “dedicated to advancing social, fiscal and foreign policies that will strengthen America at this critical time in the nation’s history,” the new group says, touting “uncompromised” military strength, free markets, low taxes, small government and an emphasis on a federalist approach to government.

“Strong economy, strong families and a strong military,” Mr. Romney proclaimed.

The PAC will support candidates running for all levels of office in the current 2008 cycle, starting at the top of the ticket with Sen. .

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