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.

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