10 days until Election Day
Some days, it does indeed seem as if the whole election will boil down to "who is a better surrogate — Liz Cheney or Stephanie Cutter?"
But there ARE other things going on politically, even on a day that seems shockingly newsless at this writing.
Namely: battleground state campaigning galore!!!!
We can't stress enough to you how crucial candidate schedules are at this stage of the campaign.
The president has announced his travel plans through Thursday, showing a bit more of his hand than John Kerry has for the map of the final week. How both sides manage the clock can provide valuable clues as to opportunities won or lost in the waning days.
President Bush hits the Florida scene early today, speaking at rallies in Ft. Meyers, Lakeland, Melborne, and Jacksonville, FL at 9:50 am ET, 11:50 am ET, 1:50 pm ET, and 4:20 pm ET respectively. The president also tapes an interview with FOX News' Sean Hannity, before heading to Crawford, TX, where he overnights.
Senator Kerry continues his jaunt in the West, heading to Pueblo, CO for a rally at 11:00 am ET and Las Cruces, NM for a second rally at 5:25 pm ET, before flying to Ft. Lauderdale in anticipation of Sunday's events.
Vice President Cheney and Mrs. Lynne Cheney attend rallies in Farmington, NM and Grand Junction, CO at 1:10 am ET and 4:40 pm ET.
Senator Edwards holds an early vote community gathering at the SEIU Local 8 Union Hall in Orlando at 10:00 am ET and attends a "Fresh Start for America" rally with Florida voters at North Straub Park in St. Petersburg at 1:30 pm ET. Senator Bill Nelson will be in attendance.
Ralph Nader holds a press conference at Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ at 11:45 am ET before delivering a speech there at 12:30 pm ET. Following the event, he heads to New York for a rally at the Emmanuel AME Church at 3:00 pm ET and a speech at Binghamton University in Binghamton, NY at 8:00 pm ET.
Teresa Heinz Kerry, Representative Kendrick Meek and Caribbean Americans for Kerry host a GOTV rally at Lakeshore Park in Miramar, FL at 1:30 pm ET.
Elizabeth Edwards campaigns at the Wallingford's Fruit House in Auburn, ME at 9:30 am ET and holds a "Michigan Women for Kerry-Edwards" rally at the University of Michigan in Dearborn, MI at 2:30 pm ET.
Senator Hillary Clinton holds a "Women's Early Vote Unity Rally" at the Harriet Himmel Gilman Theatre in West Palm Beach at 11:30 am ET, attends a "Broward Early Vote Rally" at Develoe Park in Ft. Lauderdale at 1:30 pm ET, and participates in an "Early Vote Rally" in Peacock Park in Coconut Grove, FL at 4:30 pm ET.
It's the last day to register to vote in Iowa.
Tomorrow on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," two faceoffs and a roundtable. Up first: McCain v. Biden. Mehlman v. Shrum. Then George Will, Mike Duffy, and Liz Marlantes.
"Good Morning America" this weekend brings you the latest news, and don't forget to tune in on Monday, when ABC News' Charlie Gibson brings you an exclusive interview with President Bush. And Diane Sawyer talks to President Clinton.
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry:
"President Bush said on Friday that Americans had to judge who would keep them safer from terrorism, portraying Senator John Kerry as dangerously naïve and so weak on national security that his election would all but invite attacks on the United States," writes the New York Times ' Richard Stevenson. LINK
The Washington Post 's Mike Allen and Lois Romano chronicle Bush and Kerry's fight for the ladies on Friday, during which both cast themselves as defenders of working families and the American dream, and arguing over the best way to keep the country safe. LINK
The New York Times ' David Halbfinger profiles "Lori Sheldon, the Pennsylvania mother who tearfully told Mr. Kerry last month that she was "tired of saying no" to two daughters. " LINK
Mark Z. Barabak wades into the gender gap debate in the Los Angeles Times and writes, "The gender gap may be reemerging … perpetuating the Mars-Venus political divide between men, who lean Republican, and women, who lean Democratic, that has been a fixture of presidential politics since Ronald Reagan beat Jimmy Carter a generation ago. But the size of the gap remains in question — and the answer may determine who wins on Nov. 2." LINK
Stephen Braun and Robin Abcarian of the Los Angeles Times offer up companion front-page pieces today on the style of each candidate's closing arguments.
Braun on Kerry: "Yet with everything on the line, Kerry, the celebrated strong finisher, has turned out to be an elusive and inconsistent word master in the final stretch — sometimes seeming incandescent and lyrical, at other moments baffling and uninspiring." LINK
Abcarian on Bush: "News reporters on the campaign trail serve the nation the latest nuance in Bush's policies or his newest attack on his Democratic rival, Senator John F. Kerry. But the president gives a second set of messages that rarely get reported — messages that could prove equally potent in the race."
"They are the lines in his speech and the leader-of-the-free-world atmospherics that fire up his fiercely loyal base — and they are aimed at turning fans into foot-soldiers." LINK
The Boston Globe 's Klein and Johnson look at how "Both candidates are entering the campaign's final 10 days by outlining stark choices for voters." LINK
Karl Rove (!) heralds the Bush-Cheney position: "'There are a large number of people who are [saying they are] voting for him who don't support him,' Rove said. 'We feel good about our position. We've been here [in Ohio] a lot. We're going to be here a lot between now and the election.'"
The Los Angeles Times' Finnegan and Reynolds compare the candidates' travel to the electoral map and still appear quite bullish on the "two out of three" theory for Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. LINK
The Los Angeles Times writes up the one key issue in this presidential race for the troops in Iraq: exit strategies. LINK
The Washington Post 's Jonathan Weisman writes that Bush has been vague about his plans for Social Security and taxes, leaving the Kerry campaign to rush in where specifics apparently fear to tread. And Kerry, while talking a bit about the deficit, Social Security and Medicare, hasn't explained his plans either. LINK
The Washington Post 's Howard Kurtz examines the latest Bush and DNC ads released Friday. Would anyone have guessed six months ago that the final-weeks mascots would be wolves and ostriches? LINK
David Brooks questions, "Why does everything in America change except politics?" In other words: why are we still a 50-50 country? LINK
A fierce if quiet struggle is being fought for the support of hunters, anglers, and conservationists, and it is being waged from the pages of Field & Stream magazine to the strategy sessions of the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters," reports the New York Times ' Felicity Barringer. LINK
The New York Times Randy Archibold on Cheney v. Edwards, energy v. experience, and strategy versus strategy. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney '04:
Deb Orin reports on the huffing and puffing of and about the "Wolves" ad. LINK
The Los Angeles Times' Ed Chen and Nick Anderson write up the new BC04 ad that "sought to undermine public confidence in Senator John F. Kerry's ability to combat terrorism." LINK
The Times duo also reports that the Bush campaign has gone up with an ad specific to Cuban Americans in Miami "that accused Kerry of backing the interests of Cuban President Fidel Castro."
"The 30-second spot, in Spanish, shows images of Castro and of Kerry as a narrator condemns the Massachusetts senator's vote against a 1996 law, the Helms-Burton Act, which tightened economic sanctions against the island nation at a time of heightened diplomatic tensions between Havana and Washington."
Knight Ridder's Meg Laughlin reports on some folks who question the time Bush spent working with P.U.L.L. in the 1970s. There's no word on whether this has generated another "for Truth" group yet. LINK
" … the Bush administration is spearheading a campaign at the United Nations for a global treaty banning … " embryonic stem cell research, reports the Los Angeles Times. LINK
"The adoring crowd inside the theater was pumped by the time Bush walked onstage along with three surprise guests — his wife, Laura, and daughters, Barbara and Jenna," writes the Canton Repository's Tim Botos. LINK
The AP's Amy Lorentzen reports that keeping to form, "Vice President Dick Cheney said Friday that he has no confidence in Democratic Senator John Kerry to be a strong commander in chief capable of hunting down terrorists." LINK
"With no fanfare, President Bush yesterday signed into law the most sweeping corporate tax legislation in nearly two decades and the fifth major tax cut since he took office less than four years ago," the Washington Post 's Jonathan Weisman reports. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:
The Boston Herald's Andrew Miga reports that Kerry "may still fly in to Boston for a surprise appearance at a World Series game, aides said yesterday." LINK
Page Six reports that London's Guardian newspaper has stopped its pro-Kerry letter writing campaign to Ohio voters after the replies they started receiving turned most unpleasant indeed. LINK
The Chicago Sun-Times' Abdon Pallasch asks, "Will college kids put John Kerry in the White House?" LINK
The Washington Post 's Vanessa Williams previews the final push by labor unions to help rally voters on behalf of the Democrats. LINK
The Washington Post 's Howard Kurtz writes that the program Sinclair ended up broadcasting last night was critical of Kerry, but more balanced than "Stolen Honor." LINK
The Los Angeles Times on the somewhat more balanced final product produced by Sinclair than originally planned. LINK
The politics of national security meets Election Day:
The Washington Post 's Dan Eggen and Barton Gellman report that five weeks after FBI officials went to the president with warnings about plans for a pre-Election Day mass-casualty terrorist attack, "U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials say they have found no direct evidence of an election-related terrorist plot." LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: ballotwatch:
The New York Times leads with a must-read story of Republicans preparing to challenge voters at the polls on Election Day.
"Election officials in other swing states, from Arizona to Wisconsin and Florida, say they are bracing for similar efforts by Republicans to challenge new voters at polling places, reflecting months of disputes over voting procedures and the anticipation of an election as close as the one in 2000." LINK
"Ohio election officials said they had never seen so large a drive to prepare for Election Day challenges. They said they were scrambling yesterday to be ready for disruptions in the voting process as well as alarm and complaints among voters. Some officials said they worried that the challenges could discourage or even frighten others waiting to vote."
"Ohio Democrats were struggling to match the Republicans' move, which had been rumored for weeks. Both parties had until 4 p.m. to register people they had recruited to monitor the election. Republicans said they had enlisted 3,600 by the deadline, many in heavily Democratic urban neighborhoods of Cleveland, Dayton and other cities. Each recruit was to be paid $100."
"In yet another sign of how fiercely Ohio will be contested in the Nov. 2 presidential election, Republicans challenged 35,427 newly registered voters yesterday. And both parties named thousands of people to be challengers at the polls," writes Mark Niquette of the Columbus Dispatch. LINK
A federal judge will rule Monday on whether 14,000 Floridians whose voter registration forms were not complete will be allowed to vote. LINK
The Orlando Sentinel has a good overview of all the different allegations of vote fraud being investigated by the state department of law enforcement. LINK
As in Michigan, the U.S. Department of Justice is trying to get in on the provisional ballot act with its "friend of the court" brief filed in Ohio. LINK
"Too late to register" signs are going up in Minnesota, a state with same-day registration. LINK
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dennis Roddy reports that not only were college students in Pennsylvania scammed into changing their voter registration, but their polling places were switched too. LINK
But it ain't all about lawsuits over fraud and malfeasance. The Washington Post 's Jo Becker reports that a shortage of trained poll workers causes widespread mistakes, federal election officials say. LINK
Turnout is king, getting out the vote is crucial — of course. The Washington Post 's Jo Becker and Tom Edsall take a look at where and how the vote has already been gotten out, with 1.3 million people having already cast their ballots in early voting by Friday afternoon. LINK
Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe sees the potential for a days-long Election Day because of voting issues. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: ballotwatch: watchdog:
Send those comments and questions to email@example.com
ABC News Vote 2004: Florida:
The Los Angeles Times takes a look at the addition of 1.5 million voters to Florida's election rolls since 2000. And as with many states throughout the country, independents outperformed their partisan counterparts. But for you junkies, here is the partisan breakdown: "Based on new registration figures, Republicans represent 37.8% of voters, and Democrats 41.4%." LINK
4.3 million Democrats, 3.9 million Republicans, and 1.9 million independents in Florida . . . LINK
Previewing the visits of Al Gore and the Bush twins . . . LINK
There actually are still some counties in Florida where the "XXX excited about Presidential Visit" headlines are common. LINK
Deb Orin also talks Florida, and ponders the preferences of Jewish New Yorkers who retired there. LINK
Duval County's interim elections chief and expanded early voting sites gets the attention of the Los Angeles Times. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Ohio:
"Bush's appearance yesterday is the beginning of a final blitz for Ohio's 20 electoral votes during the next 10 days. Bush has scheduled rallies Wednesday in Lima and Dayton and Thursday in Youngstown and Cleveland. Edwards campaigns by bus Sunday in Cincinnati, Dayton and Lima, and he gives a speech Monday in Toledo. Vice President Dick Cheney will be in Wilmington on Monday. Kerry also is expected back in Ohio next week," writes Jack Torry of the Columbus Dispatch. LINK
The Cleveland Plain Dealer keys off the latest poll numbers on State Issue 1 to provide the current state of that Buckeye State race. LINK
"Those backing the ban say they aren't worried that the race is tightening, but opponents insist that they have the momentum and hope to keep it going with a TV blitz next week — and a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission."
ABC News Vote 2004: Pennsylvania:
The president's visit to Wilke-Barre gets a good the-President-says-the-economy-is-strong headline in the local Citizens Voice. LINK
The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reports the president narrowed the race down to five issues. "Ticking off security, personal finances, quality of life, retirement and 'bedrock values critical to our families and our future,' Bush was focused Friday morning as he laid out his plan and track record for each." LINK
"Before she uttered a word, Heinz Kerry received a standing ovation," reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette of Teresa Heinz Kerry's speech to the Pennsylvania NAACP in Washington County yesterday. LINK
Catholics in the Keystone State, a huge voting bloc, do not all weigh abortion the same way, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Iowa:
The Des Moines Register 's Lynn Campbell reports, "Iowans who vote Nov. 2 in the correct county but wrong precinct should have their votes for president and Congress count, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said Friday in an opinion that pleased voting-rights groups but upset county auditors." LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Nevada:
Kerry told a Reno rally crowd Friday that Yucca Mountain wouldn't happen on his "watch." LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Colorado:
The Rocky Mountain News finds one third of Colorado voters registered after Aug. 10 are between the ages of 18 and 24. LINK
Support for Amendment 36 is dropping, a new poll shows. LINK
With the kind of headline that makes Democrats cringe, the Rocky Mountain News reports election delays are expected. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Minnesota:
It was a big week for Minnesota. Bush, Kerry, Cheney, and Edwards were all there — and then a surprise endorsement from former Gov. Jesse Ventura.
The Ventura endorsement leads the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
"With nods and gestures but nary a spoken word," that pre-Ahnold gubernatorial phenomenon Jesse Ventura endorsed John Kerry to be president. The Star Tribune's Conrad Defiebre describes his speechless and "bizarre" endorsement of the Senator with another former Governor, Angus King of Maine. LINK
Tom Webb and Jim Ragsdale of the St. Paul Pioneer Press report that "Friends say they think Ventura broke his own rule against endorsing major-party candidates because he was so unhappy with President Bush's leadership on the war in Iraq, the deployment of National Guard and reservists overseas and the treatment of veterans." LINK
But Cheney's visit comes in right behind.
The Star Tribune headline reads "Cheney gets warm reception in Rosemount." LINK
The Pioneer Press' Bill Salisbury writes "Vice President Dick Cheney's campaign stop in Rosemount on Friday was targeted at two groups of people: partisans who were energized by hearing him in person and folks like you who will read or hear his message in the news media." LINK
The Star Tribune's Hotakainen and Sand explain how the No Childe Left Behind law is "stirring plenty of debate in Minnesota." LINK
The New York Times ' Eduardo Porter writes "as job growth has picked up in many areas of the country, employment has continued to falter in some crucial battleground states, the government reported yesterday." LINK
"The state-by-state tallies reflected the national pattern of gradual gains in most job markets, but not the kind of robust growth President Bush had hoped for in the home stretch of his reelection campaign against Democratic nominee Senator John F. Kerry," writes Warren Vieth of the Los Angeles Times in his look at the final pre-election state by state jobs numbers released by the Labor Department yesterday. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:
The Coors v. Salazar Senate race is attracting international media attention. LINK
The Washington Times report the North Carolina Senate seat is seen as "key." Polls show Bowles and Burr are neck and neck. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: the House:
The Oregonian reports that Democratic Rep. David Wu's challenger, Republican Goli Ameri, will stop distributing and "post a notice on her Web site making it clear it was her campaign that turned the article [about a 1976 sexual assault allegation against Wu] into a brochure and distributed it to 100,000 households in the 1st Congressional District." LINK
The Washington Post 's Blaine Harden takes a minute away from presidential frenzy to look at a House race in the Seattle suburbs. We just can't resist a story that mentions a candidate's great hair. LINK
The politics of national security:
"House-Senate negotiators, trying to resolve differences in bills to restructure the nation's intelligence community, announced minimal progress yesterday and conceded it will be difficult to complete the task before the Nov. 2 elections," report the Washington Post 's Walter Pincus and Chuck Babington. LINK
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has taken a position at odds with the White House in urging Congress this week to restrict the powers of a new national intelligence director in developing budgets at the Pentagon," reports the New York Times ' Philip Shenon. LINK
Knight Ridder's Strobel and Landay report, "Porter Goss' initial moves as CIA director appear to herald a post-election purge at the already troubled spy agency, according to current and former top U.S. intelligence officials." LINK
After delays caused by ambiguity over Nader's place on the ballot, 3,400 voting machines are going out to nearly 17-hundred polling places throughout the city of Philadelphia.
The AP reports after the state supreme court decided Nader should not be on the ballot "Democratic lawyers wanted TWO layers of stickers to cover his name." LINK
Friday Ralph Nader's Corporate Crimebusters Van Tour visited Sinclair affiliate KOVR and urged station management to ignore the order from Sinclair chief executive David Smith to run a controversial anti-Kerry documentary.
The Sacramento Bee reports Nader's supporters delivered a letter stating, "If you follow his orders, you will be colluding in Smith's flagrant exploitation of the public airwaves to promote a private political agenda." LINK
The Ohio Supreme Court has declined to put Ralph Nader's name back on the November ballot. In a 6-1 decision, the high court ruled that Mr. Nader had "waited too long to pursue his claim" reports the AP.
Nader has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court where his status in Pennsylvania is also being considered. LINK
The San Francisco Chronicle looks at some of the legal challenges that are defining this election — involving Nader and otherwise. LINK
Arizona's Prop 200 is proving every bit as controversial as California's Prop 187 of a decade ago. LINK
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Fleming reports on the power of the blog. LINK
The Washington Post 's Howard Kurtz profiles comedian Jon Stewart. LINK
—9:30 am: Elizabeth Edwards campaigns at the Wallingford's Fruit House, Auburn, ME
—9:50 am: President Bush speaks at a Victory 2004 Rally at the City of Palms Park, Ft. Meyers, FL
—10:00 am: Sen. John Edwards holds an early vote community gathering at the SEIU Local 8 Union Hall, Orlando, FL
—11:00 am: Sen. John Kerry attends "Fresh Start" Rally at the Union Depot, Pueblo, CO
—11:30 am: Sen. Hillary Clinton holds a "Women's Early Vote Unity Rally" at the Harriet Himmel Gilman Theatre, West Palm Beach, FL
—11:45 am: Ralph Nader holds a press conference at Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ
—11:50 am: President Bush speaks at a Victory 2004 Rally at the Joker Marchant Stadium, Lakeland, FL
—12:00 pm: Doro Bush Koch delivers the keynote address to local female Republican leaders at the Ohio Federation of Republican Women Annual Fall Conference at the Canton Marriot McKinley Grand Hotel, Canton, OH
—12:00 pm: Curtis Gans, director at the Center for the Study of the American Electorate, gives an on-the-record briefing at the Foreign Press Center on "The Upsurge in Voter Registration and Expectations for Turnout in the 2004 Elections," Washington, DC
—12:00 pm: Sen. Zell Miller highlights President Bush's agenda, Milwaukee, WI
—12:30 pm: Ralph Nader speaks at Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ
—1:00 pm: Rep. Barney Frank speaks at a GLBT early voting rally at Stranahan Park, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
—1:10 pm: Vice President Cheney participates in a Victory 2004 rally at Piedra Vista High School, Farmington, NM
—1:30 pm: Sen. Edwards attends a "Fresh Start for America" rally with Florida voters at North Straub Park, St. Petersburg, FL
—1:30 pm: Sen. Clinton holds a "Broward Early Vote Rally" at Develoe Park, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
—1:30 pm: Teresa Heinz Kerry, Rep. Kendrick Meek, and Caribbean Americans for Kerry host a GOTV rally at Lakeshore Park, Miramar, FL
—1:50 pm: President Bush speaks at a Victory 2004 rally at the Space Coast Stadium, Melborne, FL
—2:30 pm: Elizabeth Edwards holds a "Michigan Women for Kerry-Edwards" rally at the University of Michigan, Dearborn, MI
—2:30 pm: Sen. Miller highlight President Bush's agenda, Green Bay, WI
—3:00 pm: Ralph Nader holds a rally at the Emmanuel AME Church, New York, NY
—4:20 pm: President Bush speaks at a Victory 2004 Rally at Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville, FL
—4:30 pm: Sen. Clinton holds an early vote rally in Peacock Park, Coconut Grove, FL
—4:40 pm: Vice President Cheney participates in a Victory 2004 Rally at Walker Field, Grand Junction, CO
—5:25 pm: Sen. Kerry attends a "Fresh Start for America" rally at Las Cruces Public Schools, Las Cruces, NM
—8:00 pm: Ralph Nader speaks at Binghamton University, Binghamton, NY
—8:30 pm: Billionaires for Bush host a host a black tie Billionaires Ball at Polly Esther's, Washington, DC
—10:00 pm: Rosie O'Donnell speaks on behalf of MoveOn Student Action at a concert about Bush and Iraq policy at Club Ovation, Boynton Beach, FL