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Summer campaign season kicks into gear

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The July Fourth holiday traditionally marks the start of the run-up to the big major party conventions and the real presidential campaign. But doesn't it seem like there's been politics and campaign news just forever this year? Partly it's been primary races that wound down through John Edwards and Mitt Romney, and then the prolonged duel of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And New York has made its own share of political headlines: the disgrace of former Governor Spitzer, a bitter special election to fill a North Country senate seat, the recent resignation of longtime Republican leader Joseph Bruno and the extra pressure that puts on the GOP to maintain its Senate majority. Martha Foley, David Sommerstein and Brian Mann sort through some of the state and regional highlights starting with the GOP's struggles in New York.

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