Evening Newscasts Wrap

A product of Noted Now and The Note

POLLS:

The latest CBS Poll shows Bush at 47%, Kerry at 46% among likely voters. Rather adds with the margin of error, the race is a virtual tie.

NBC's Tim Russert takes a closer look at the recent polls. Bush holds a 97% to 2% margin among Republicans. Among, Democrats, Kerry olds a 92% to 6% margin. Kerry holds an advantage among swing voters. 49% to 40%. Among people who attend church at least once a week, Bush is up 61% o 36%. Among young voters, Kerry is ahead 54% to 37%.

THE LAST DAY ON THE TRAIL:

ABC's Terry Moran reported that Bush made seven stops in six states over 19 hours today. Moran said Bush was "greeted by deliriously supportive crowds," emphasizing more than anything his credentials as a war time leader. Bush's closing argument is that he is tougher on terrorism, more conservative on values, and just more principled than John Kerry. Bush's targets are rural voters, evangelical Christians and military families. Going into Election Day, Bush is banking on "ferocious enthusiasm."

ABC's Dean Reynolds said Kerry's message is that the nation is hurting, it heading in wrong direction at home and abroad and is doomed to more of the same under Bush, and despite Bush's claims, America is less safe. Kerry says the nation is now scared thanks to a Republican campaign that employs fearful images of terrorist wolf packs to smear political opponents as weak while at the same time obscuring presidential failures on a range of domestic issues, from joblessness to Social Security to health care.

CBS' Jim Acosta characterizes Kerry's last day campaigning as "a final ditch, a final push, and a final photo-op." In his last week on the trail, Kerry has traveled 15,600 miles and has made 24 appearances in 9 battlegrounds. Acosta notes that Kerry is getting help from Bush's problems in Iraq, but is struggling on the issue of terrorism, which has boosted Bush in the polls.

CBS' Bill Plante reports on the last day for Bush/Cheney campaign. He notes that Bush strategists are confident of victory, touting their large get-out-the-vote effort. However, the campaign is concerned about their showing in the battlegrounds. Plante points out that incumbents don't generally get elected if their approval ratings are lower than 50%.

NBC's David Gregory reports that the President's energy is high and aides say he is confident. However, the campaign's own internal polls show that the race is tighter than they expected. Bush spoke about jobs in Ohio today.

NBC's Kelly O'Donnell reports that Kerry will campaign until the early morning hours today. O'Donnell notes the abbreviated events today were just long enough to garner plenty of local news coverage. Aides say they invested little to get rally crowds today, instead getting volunteers to get out the vote.

KERRY'S JENNINGS INTERVIEW:

Kerry said his campaign has laid the ground work to be able to protect the constitutional right of Americans to have their vote counted something which Kerry thinks did not happen last time. Kerry responded to GOP charges that he is careless with words, by incorrectly accusing Bush of having "said" Mission Accomplished on the deck of an aircraft carrier (Bush stood under a banner that said Mission Accomplished). Kerry also chided Bush for saying "bring it on" and for not sending enough troops to Iraq and for not supplying them with the body armor that they need.

269-269:

NBC's Brian Williams looked at the possibilities of 269-269 and Noted that if Democrats win the Senate, Sen. John Edwards would likely become Vice President.

BALLOT WATCH:

NBC's Kerry Sanders reported from Orlando that lines on Monday were up to five hours and that more than 3,000 Democratic attorneys were already in Florida. He described wrangling over the validity of absentee ballots as "scenes reminiscent of 2000" and took time to emphasize that "if challenge processes amount to intimidation, it is a crime" in the context of Republican challenges.

NBC's Anne Thompson reported from Toledo saying that 800,000 newly registered voters "has Republicans worried about potential Republican fraud" so they are trotting out a "little-used state law to put challengers in polling places." Thompson covered the court rulings today. She closed saying "Republicans insist that they're not trying to stop any legal voter from voting, only trying to make sure that all voters are legally allowed to vote."

CBS' Jim Axelrod looks at the early/absentee turnout in Florida and Ohio. In Florida, new registrations overwhelmingly favor Democrats. In Ohio, the amount of intense campaigning is matched only by last minute litigating. In Florida's Broward County they are shipping thousands of absentee ballots out to those who claim they didn't' receive them.

THE BATTLEGROUNDS:

ABC's George Stephanopoulos and Mark Halperin looked at the Electoral College map and the importance of places like Florida, Ohio, the Upper Midwest and New Mexico.

CBS' Bob Schieffer says to watch New Jersey on election night, noting its one of the states where traditional voting patterns could be changed by 9/11.

NBC's Jon Siegenthaler looks at the situation in Florida. He says the biggest change is early voting which means both voters are looking making a huge effort to get out the vote. The latest number (counting absentee and early voting) shows almost 2.5 million people have cast their ballots before Election Day. Secretary of State Glenda Hood says eyes will still be on Florida this year.

NBC's Ron Allen reports on the situation in Ohio. Ohioans says they have never seen so many out of towners. Polls show Ohio is a tossup at the moment. Ohio's ballot question which could ban gay marriage could bring more republicans to the polls, but the many newly registered voters could help the Democrats.

NBC's looked at George D. Bush of Ohio, who's voting for Kerry, and Kerry Edwards of Toledo, who's voting for Bush, and other such interesting items.

VIEW FROM ABROAD:

ABC's Jim Sciutto reported that the people of Iraq don't care if Bush or Kerry wins. They are more concerned with local concerns.

ABC's Peter Jennings did a tell on the international poll of 10 countries conducted by a French-Canadian newspaper which shows that only in Israel and Russia did people prefer Bush.

WEATHER:

NBC's Robert Hager looks at the Election Day forecast.

RHENQUIST:

NBC covered Rehnquist's chemotherapy in a third block tell.

Rather tell: Rhenquist cited doctor's orders to stay home and get some rest. He also revealed he is receiving chemo.

ON THE ISSUES:

CBS' Wyatt Andrew looks at where the candidates stand on medical malpractice reforms.

DIVIDED COUPLES:

ABC's Jeffrey Koffman looked at couples with sharply divergent views on politics and what they can teach the country about getting along.