Four Days Until Election Day
States that will almost certainly decide this election: Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and New Mexico.
States that are hanging around to make a difference: Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Maine's Second Congressional District.
States that could come washing through in a landslide (or abberationally shock us all and decide the race!!): Hawaii, New Jersey, Colorado, and Arkansas.
Number of newspaper stories on politics in Friday's papers: millions and millions (estimated).
Number of must reads in Friday's papers: sadly/happily, none.
Most surprising thing in President Bush's interview with USA Today: that in the presence of three of the women he loves the most (Hughes, Devenish, and Keen), he is described thusly: "His mood wasn't jocular, ... nor was he particularly reflective." LINK
Finest Devenish quote of the month, from the Los Angeles Times: "We're really locked into a dogfight here. Ironically, at this stage, what's good for them is good for us." LINK
Most surprising thing in Senator Kerry's interview with USA Today: that he somehow wasn't tricked into answering an Arafat question. LINK
Clearest sign that the mostly Anglo media do not see clearly the new America: the failure to appreciate the cultural and political significance of tomorrow night's appearances by both candidates on Sabado Gigante. LINK
Proof, as if more were needed, that Mark McKinnon has more free time than any admaker ever, and that he believes that if America knows the President's heart and appreciates his sense of humor, this election is OVER: LINK
But for better or worse, nothing -- not the candidates, the TV ads, the ground game, even the voters, really -- nothing matters more in determining the outcome of the presidential election than the major American media.
With that in mind, here's a list that serves at least two purposes.
For those of you whose livelihood depends on manipulating, influencing, and cajoling us in the last 4 days, it will serve as a road map to our state of mind.
And for our few readers who are actually national political reporters themselves, you might find it as bracing as a slap of Aqua Velva.
The twenty-five toughest things for every political reporter in America, now through Tuesday:
1. Figure out which sources to believe about state polling.
2. Figure out how to locate and evaluate last-minute TV and radio ads.
3. Simultaneously go to planning meetings, make reporting calls, make baggage call, and eat something besides cold sandwiches.
4. In-box maintenance.
5. Read any newspapers.
6. Fairly integrate elements of the news cycle into daily political coverage.
7. Determine "what would Tom Edsall do?" when trying to solve problems.
8. Study exit poll questionnaires -- since studying the polls is a useless endeavor.
9. Learn how to manage caffeine intake to avoid being weird, wired, and tired.
10. Remember that dry cleaning left over thirty days is no longer the responsibility of the establishment.
11. Set aside an hour a day (minimum) to review your Electoral College flashcards.
12. Keep in mind that no matter who wins, the Republic always survives.
13. Take good care to keep internal body temperature regulated on the Florida-to-Wisconsin express; it is nearly November after all.
14. Take a moment to review hotel reward program account balances and adjust reservations accordingly; remember to check cancellation/refund policies for any post-election day vacation plans that you may have made a month ago.
15. Don't try to judge the mood of campaign aides simply by the tone of their voices; they're as tired of you as you are of them.
16. Field constant calls from friends and relatives demanding to know who is going to win/can they get polls numbers early/can they get help figuring out where to vote.
17. Whether it is better to get an extra 20 minutes of sleep or do that 2 mile run.
18. Whether it is okay to eat a box of cookies when your energy is flagging after nineteen straight hours of reporting.
19. To determine what is real news and what is hysterical, gossipy October-surprise-wannabe dreck.
20. To differentiate between hearty confidence and determined desperation when talking to campaign staffers.
21. Don't stress about figuring out the West Virginia surprise of this race; you can't.
22. Forget the fact that you once wrote a story saying Security Moms are pivotal.
23. Forget the fact that you once wrote that John Edwards is a killer debater.
24. When the Red and Blue states mix up wildly, forget all the lame pieces you wrote about a divided nation.
25. When exit polls show the economy as important as terror, forget all the times you wrote that "9/11 changed everything."
Oh, one more.
Don't let yourself think for a minute, for better or worse, that nothing -- not the candidates, the TV ads, the ground game, even voters, really -- nothing matters more in determining the outcome of the presidential election than the major American media. You're just along for the ride, boys and girls.
When former Vice President Al Gore lands in Honolulu, HI today to campaign for Sen. John Kerry, he will be visiting a state he won by nearly 20 percentage points in 2000 and one that President Bush has visited exactly once since January 2001.
The Democratic effort to shore up the Aloha State, which includes ads from the party and independent groups as well as recent satellite interviews by former President Clinton, will be complicated by a visit from the current Vice President — who plans a 11:00 pm local (!) stop on Sunday night in the middle of what by our count is a 38-hour campaign day. LINK
On the mainland, Clinton will campaign in the Southwest in three states he won in both 1992 and 1996 — Nevada today, New Mexico tomorrow and Sunday, Arkansas on Sunday.
The man Clinton beat, former President Bush, campaigns today in Palm Beach with his son Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, while his granddaughters Jenna and Barbara Bush speak in Bensalem, PA.
Jeb's son, George P., is in Ohio. And John Kerry's colleague, Teddy Kennedy, will hit the hustings in the state that helped give his brother the Presidency in 1960, campaigning in Montgomery, Logan, and Williamson, WV with Sens. Byrd and Rockefeller.
It's a guy's day on the trail with President Bush today. Bush is scheduled to hold a 10:45 am ET rally in Manchester, NH, after a 12:45 pm ET airport rally in Portsmouth, NH and a 4:10 pm ET Toledo, OH rally, meets California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Columbus for a 6:50 pm ET rally.
The President will deliver a moderately retooled speech focusing on the war on terrorism and what he calls Kerry's wavering leadership.
Kerry is in Florida all day, criticizing the President over the 380 tons of missing explosives for the fifth straight day, this time with fodder provided by KSTP and featured by ABC News' Martha Raddatz's video of what experts tell Raddatz is HMX in al Qaqaa when the 101st Airborne Second Brigade arrived there after the start of the war. LINK
Kerry will frame his criticism more broadly today, the campaign says, which tells us Kerry's speech will present a "choice between hope or fear, sound polices or failed ideas, a president who looks out for the powerful and well connected or a president who fights for the middle class…" Kerry will not, per ABC News' Dan Harris, mention the FBI's new investigation into the Pentagon's no-bid contract Iraq war contract for Halliburton. LINK
Kerry speaks in Orlando at 10:30 am ET and holds rallies in West Palm Beach and Miami at 2:00 pm ET and 7:00 pm ET, respectively.
The Halliburton story will fall to Sen. John Edwards, who today becomes the first principal to vote when he and his wife stop in Raleigh. Edwards begins his day with a 10:00 am ET rally in La Crosse, WI. He rallies Muskegon, MI at 2:45 pm ET and, after voting, rallies with Bon Jovi the North Carolina State fairgrounds in Raleigh at 7:30 pm.
The Vice President holds a "72-hour kickoff rally" in Eau Claire, WI this morning at 9:00 am ET, heading next to Diamondale, MI for a 12:50 pm ET rally and Williamsport, PA for a 4:55 pm ET rally.
The first look at third quarter GDP came in at +3.7%, well below economist forecasts of +4.2%. At this writing, market futures and the dollar are falling on the news.
Will headline writers emphasize the 3.7 percent growth rate?
Or the words "weaker than expected"?
Here is an example of the former from Washington Post.com: LINK
And of the latter from CNN/Money: LINK
And in Washington today, the Pentagon announces that it will extend by one month the one year tours in Iraq of several large units of Army divisions, ABC News' Luis Martinez reports, to provide security for the January elections in Iraq.
On Saturday, both candidates appear on "Sabado Gigante": LINK
Bush is in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Florida on Saturday, and Florida on Sunday.
Kerry is in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Ohio, on Saturday, and Ohio, New Hampshire, and Florida on Sunday.
Be sure to watch This Week with George Stephanopoulos with guests Ed Gillespie, Terry McAullife, Sen. Bill Frist, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi.
And stay with ABC News for Good Morning America Saturday and Sunday, World News Tonight Sunday, ABC News Now, Noted Now and two Notes -- all weekend!
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry: where things stand:
Rick Klein and Pat Healy of the Boston Globe win the award for best language describing the day-to-day back-and-forth — the presidential campaign is getting "more biting by the hour." They also Note that both campaigns yesterday "showed discernible worry about the race." LINK
The New York Times' Halbfinger and Bumiller wrap Thursday's attacks. Summary: incompetent and oblivious, wrong man, wrong war, can't lead, Bruce Springsteen. LINK
Typically taut and unmatched Milbank/Diamond Jim reporting in the Washington Post: LINK
"Geographically, both men will concentrate almost all their efforts on Florida and on the upper midwestern states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio. Among those states, the only surprise is Michigan, which had been expected to be safely Democratic; recent polls have shown a close race. Another surprise is a trip on Sunday by Vice President Cheney to traditionally Democratic Hawaii, where polls show the race to be close."
"Kerry has been spending most of his time in Wisconsin, Iowa, Ohio and Florida; he will visit Detroit on Saturday, although the campaign is increasingly optimistic about Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania."
"Bush strategist Karl Rove said Thursday night that the campaign's private polls show the president even or ahead in eight of the 10 battleground states -- including Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and New Mexico -- with leads outside the polls' margins of error in four. He predicted a victory for Bush but said 'the next five days are critical.'"
Rove in the Los Angeles Times: "Rove and other Bush aides said they remained optimistic that the president would win reelection, saying their internal polling suggested they were leading Kerry in all battleground states except Pennsylvania, where the candidates were tied."
John Harwood in Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire gets a "Bush political advisor" to admit that ""Flu shots and Social Security scare me" and Notes that the Commerce Department only posted job data from non-battleground states after queries by the Journal. Another interesting Note: Harry Reid's ready to take over Tom Daschle's leadership position if John Thune waxes victorious. LINK
The Wall Street Journal's Hitt and Rogers ponder the campaigns' attempts to broaden their appeal, with Karl Rove proclaiming, "We're on the hunt." LINK
The Wall Street Journal's Jake Schlesinger has an excellent look at how new "demographic wildcards" — Jewish, Hispanic, black voters — might help decide the race. LINK
The "Gigante" scoop: Saturday-before-Election-Day interviews with Bush and Kerry on Spanish language television. LINK
USA Today's Jim Drinkard refers to a report that says 143 million could vote this year, a number that is 10 million higher than the number of registered voters in 2000. LINK
Walter Shapiro writes, "Truth is the first casualty not only in war, but also in the closing days of a campaign." LINK
Francophile Dick Morris' headline reads "WHY BUSH WILL WIN," and he uses the word "voila" in his column. LINK
Deb Orin Notes, "Both sides are now making their gambles on where to stump for the final weekend." LINK
Orin also reports on the combined total donations of the top "anti-Bush fat cats." LINK
The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz wraps the campaigns' final ads and writes that Bush's final, negative ad was a "bit unusual in that it is a negative assault on a positive Kerry ad." LINK
The Washington Post's Michael Powell on the politically split Johnson family from Beloit, WI. LINK
Since they can't donate unregulated sums of soft money, "employers are going grass roots," writes Tom Hamburger of the Los Angeles Times. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry: October Surprise: missing explosives:
ABC News' Martha Raddatz looks at the missing weapons investigation, citing a new video acquired by ABC affiliate KSTP who was embedded with the 101st Division.
The tape shows barrels with authentic UN markings. The barrels were found in locked bunkers, which the IAEA had sealed just before the war began. Raddatz points out that the IAEA seal is critical. It is not clear how many barrels of HMX were at the facility or if it was in fact HMX. "But what seems clear from that tape, is that U.S. soldiers opened up some of the bunkers, left them unguarded and the material has since disappeared." LINK
The New York Times' Broad and Sanger write up the report by Raddatz, with admirable restraint and only a trace of a nah-nah-nah tone. LINK
Bradley Graham and Tom Ricks write on the Washington Post's front page that "this week's assertions by Sen. John F. Kerry's campaign about the few hundred tons said to have vanished from Iraq's Qaqaa facility have struck some defense experts as exaggerated." LINK
The Washington Times Notes "Mr. Kerry has shifted his argument since Monday, when he blamed the president for the 380 tons of explosives missing from Al-Qaqaa as news outlets have reported since that the explosives could not have been moved while the United States had control and that the amount was overstated." LINK
Which candidate is benefiting politically from the explosives story? Michael Finnegan and Maura Reynolds of the Los Angeles Times report that both campaigns believe the story plays to their advantage. LINK
USA Today's ed board laments that both candidates are using the 380 tons of explosives as "proof positive that their opponent is rash, neglectful or unfit to command." LINK
The April 18, 2003 video of the Iraq explosives site shot by an ABC affiliate embedded with the 101st was everywhere this morning.
During his interview on "Today," Amb. Paul Bremer (in make-good mode and representing the Bush Administration's viewpoint), pointed to a satellite image released yesterday by the Pentagon.
Bremer latched onto the image saying that the "Pentagon released some pictures yesterday that showed trucks outside of bunkers." Bremer added that "there was about a month where Saddam may have" removed the explosives.
NBC's Matt Lauer wasn't buying it. He pointed to the ABC affiliate video shot April 18th which shows the explosives were in Iraq when the troops arrived but that they were left unguarded perhaps, Lauer suggested, because the troops were obsessed with finding weapons of mass destruction and were not focused on the more conventional explosives.
Bremer accused Kerry of jumping to conclusions when his own top advisor (Richard Holbrooke) said the facts aren't known.
And then the parade moved on …
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry: October Surprises: Halliburton, NAACP audit, doctored ad, Pentagon call up:
"U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanders awarded a lucrative contract extension to Halliburton Co. this month by circumventing the organization's top contracting officer, who had objected to the proposal, according to documents obtained by the Los Angeles Times," writes T. Christian Miller on that paper's front page. LINK
Erik Eckholm looks at the FBI's investigation of Halliburton. LINK
The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg looks at the doctored Bush ad, being replaced with the corrected version at stations near you. LINK
The New York Times' Michael Janofsky reports that the IRS' is reviewing the NAACP's tax-exempt status after Julian Bond criticized the President in a July speech. LINK
All MSM journalists: check your bias meter on this one -- if the administration were Democratic, and the group was the Christian Coalition, how would you react?
ABC News Vote 2004: ballotwatch: legal wars:
Please send your tips, comments and questions on any ballot matters to email@example.com
On the basis of the Ohio and Wisconsin voter challenges, a coalition of civil rights groups filed suit in Federal District Court in New Jersey in Newark to reopen the consent decree that the Republican National Committee is currently operating under going back to voter intimidation issues from the 1980s in New Jersey.
A hearing is scheduled for Monday, November 1.
Reports the Washington Post's Jo Becker: "Republicans argue that their program -- the most robust in recent history -- is necessary because unprecedented voter registration drives by Democratic-leaning interest groups have produced thousands of phony registrations. But Democrats say that the GOP's Milwaukee challenges are a perfect example of the party trying to imply fraud where none exists. Lawyers for John F. Kerry's campaign successfully argued before the election board there that the analysis the GOP used to challenge voters was riddled with mistakes." LINK
"Courts in the past found that Republicans used tactics that were aimed at intimidating minority voters and suppressing their votes. The consent decrees in New Jersey stemmed from several incidents in the 1980s."
"In 1981, the Republican National Committee sent letters to predominantly black neighborhoods in New Jersey, and when 45,000 letters were returned as undeliverable, the committee compiled a challenge list to remove those voters from the rolls. The RNC sent off-duty law enforcement officials to the polls and hung posters in heavily black neighborhoods warning that violating election laws is a crime."
"In 1986, the RNC tried to have 31,000 voters, most of them black, removed from the rolls in Louisiana when a party mailer was returned. The consent decrees that resulted prohibited the party from engaging in anti-fraud initiatives that target minorities or conduct mail campaigns to 'compile voter challenge lists.'"
The New York Times' Lyman and Yardley on the surge in early voting that could end up being as high as 20% of all ballots cast. LINK
Ann Gerhart smiles on the lawyers who "have already had their day in court" in Ohio. LINK
1,090 election observers head to the polls. LINK
The New York Times' editorial board looks at the return of the butterfly ballot to Ohio. We'd like to issue a reminder that the good people of Ohio have used butterfly ballots successfully in the past, and one state's foibles don't necessarily foretell those of another state. LINK
The Washington Post's editorial board on election day uncertainty. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: ballotwatch: Florida:
From ABC News' Marc Ambinder: The Florida Democratic Party lawsuit challenging Sec. of State Glenda Hood's emergency rule on touch screen machines was basically kicked up to the Supreme Court of Florida. The GOP held a press conference in South Florida to decry what they described as Democratic intimidation of GOP voters at early voting sites and to provide information about felons who remain on the voter rolls. Broward County's supervisor of elections began to send out replacement absentee ballots for an estimated 60,000 voters who didn't get theirs in the mail. (There was a brief kerfluffle about whether she'd Fedex the ballots... she agreed late in the day that she would.) Today, a coalition of union and liberal activist groups will call on Secretary of State Hood to warn both parties against voter fraud. And Supervisors of Elections will begin to canvass the absentee ballots.
More on the GOP's felon list: LINK
It may really have been the post office's responsibility for not delivering those absentee ballots. LINK
The New York Times' Abby Goodnough profiles Florida Secretary of State Glenda Hood. LINK
Tallahassee has a post-election security and traffic plan in place for Ben Ginsberg's motorcades. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: ballotwatch: Ohio:
From ABC News' Adi Raval: Democratic officials said they are concerned worried about the presence of Republican challengers at polls but do note that Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell made clear in a recent directive that if challengers are seen to "slow down" the voting process, such a person could be removed by the precinct's presiding judge. "Challengers may not interfere with the voting process or unnecessarily delay it. For example, if a challenger challenges so many voters that his or her activities slow down the voting process or intimidate voters, then the presiding judge should take immediate action including expelling him or her from the polling place." Whether that precinct's presiding judge is a Democrat or a Republican depends on how that area voted in the 2002 gubernatorial elections.
Some reports indicate that the number of Democratic lawyers monitoring precincts stands close to 2,300 but officials at the headquarters place that number closer to 2,500.
One key point about Election Day challenging focuses on the rights of voters. Even if challenged, voters can still vote but do have to sign affidavits with the point of matter then being addressed in the following ten days.
Given that close to 70% of the state's counties will operate punch card ballot systems for the elections, Democrats recently purchased 611 of these devices and plan to place them outside key precincts with the goal of teaching prospective voters how to use the systems just before they enter into the polling location, according to officials at the campaign.
The New York Times' James Dao and Ford Fessenden look at the confusing state of Ohio's court battles, with state Attorney General Jim Petro on Thursday appealing an order by a federal judge temporarily blocking hearings on voter registration challenges in six counties. LINK
After learning the Constitution bars him from serving as an elector, Democratic Rep. Sherrod Brown has stepped down from that role and will be replaced so that if John Kerry wins Ohio he'll be able to acquire all 20 of the state's electoral votes. But what about Rep. Kendrick Meek in Florida? LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: ballotwatch: Minnesota:
Reports ABC News' Catherine Upin: The ACLU has now filed their petition in Minesota federal court against the Minnesota Secretary of State for failing to conform with the HAVA act. The petition says Minnesota's identification requirements are more restrictive than the HAVA act. The petition also says Minnesota's identification requirements also unfairly target Native Americans (there are an estimated 70,000 in Minnesota) because the state prohibits the use of a valid, federally-recognized tribal ID for election-day registration if the citizen does not live on a reservation. On Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court rejected the Minnesota State GOP's request to disclose the party affiliations of election judge workers to ensure compliance with a state law that no more than half of the judges in any precinct come from any one political party. The ruling did however require one St. Paul county to correct "minor imbalances" in eight St. Paul precincts.
ABC News Vote 2004: ballotwatch: Iowa:
Reports ABC News' Tarana Harris: "Late yesterday, Iowa Secretary of State Chet Culver said that auditors should not allow out-of-precinct ballots, reversing an earlier decision that voters could cast a vote for federal elections in the wrong precinct but the correct county. This decision halted litigation against Culver and has relieved county auditors who were concerned that out-of-precinct voting would cause mass confusion and increase the likelihood of problems on Election Day. Culver said recent decisions in Missouri, Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Michigan to not allow out-of-precinct ballots caused him to change his original ruling that such ballots be allowed."
ABC News Vote 2004: ballotwatch: Pennsylvania:
From ABC News' Tom Baldrick: Pennsylvania has not as yet extended the acceptance deadline for voters with absentee ballots overseas. A Republican lawyer urges everyone to use the word "yet" because he thinks the decision could be reversed next week. Democratic lawyers think this one is sealed — no extension needed and will most likely not be granted.
Last week, a district judge ruled against a Justice Department motion that was filed to extend the deadline. Yesterday, a motion was filed by two PA soldiers who claim they received their ballots late and wanted the deadline extended to Nov. 17.
It is unclear how big of an issue this will be. Over 11,000 PA troops are stationed overseas, and so far, evidence shows that the overwhelming majority received their absentee ballots on time. Gov. Rendell's office said that the one county out of 67 that sent out ballots two weeks late — Venango — compensated by sending them via express mail. The Philadelphia Inquirer reporter who wrote a detailed piece on this issue today says he got absolutely NO feedback/pickup on this story, leading him to believe that the issue is not as hot as it may seem.
ABC News Vote 2004: ballotwatch: Wisconsin:
From ABC News' Maddy Sauer: The Milwaukee Election Commission unanimously dismissed a last-minute complaint filed by Republicans last night. Republicans claimed that 5,600 addresses on voter rolls may not exist. Using the same software as the US Postal Service, the Republican Party of Wisconsin checked the addresses of over 300,000 Milwaukee voters. They found that 5,619 addresses may not exist. Matthew O'Neill, an attorney for the Democrats, asked that the complaint be thrown out because only three of the over 5,600 addresses were checked. The commission voted 3-0 to throw out the complaint.
Alan Borsuk calmly refers to the "star power" of Springsteen, and Notes that it was tough to tell how many rallied for Kerry and how many came to sing along. LINK
Even the photo slide show is subdued. LINK
But the Madison Capital Times barely Noticed Kerry was there. LINK
It "may well have been the largest crowd for a political rally in Wisconsin history," reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"No Surrender, the Boss sang last night, leads to the Promised Land," is how the Columbus Dispatch's Hallett and Risking lead their Bruce Springsteen coverage for an estimated crowd of more than 30,000 according to the paper. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney '04:
New England hero Curt Schilling endorsed the President on GMA yesterday and Brian C. Mooney of the Boston Globe looks at whether this high-profile move could influence New Hampshire voters. LINK
Of yesterday, the Boston Globe's Rick Klein writes, "A president who is not often described as introspective talked about the lessons he has learned after nearly four years in office. And a man who rarely places himself in the arc of American history made a connection to a pantheon of presidential greats." LINK
These links take you to a new, last-minute mailing from the RNC to voters across the country in several battleground states. (We are trying to pin down which ones).
A Republican official confirms that they sent this mail piece but declined to comment any further.
ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:
Pat Healy waxes poetic on a certain presidential candidate's reaction to his beloved baseball team winning the World Series. Hint: The reporter hails from the Boston Globe. LINK
The Washington Post's Jim VandeHei thinks Springsteen Thursday was "vintage Springsteen, from the heart and distinctly heartland in its simplicity and touch" and "one of the most remarkable scenes of the campaign season." LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: election day weather:
Based on the extended forecast provided by NOAA:
The forecast for Columbus, Ohio is mostly cloudy, with a slight chance of showers in the morning and cool.
The forecast for Cincinnati, OH is mostly cloudy in the morning with a chance of showers, then becoming partly cloudy and cool.
The forecast for Iowa is partly cloudy and cool.
The forecast for Pennsylvania is mostly cloudy with a 40 percent chance of showers and nice.
The forecast for New Hampshire is mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of rain showers, breezy and cool.
The forecast for Miami, FL is sunny with scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms and warm.
The forecast for Tallahassee, FL is mostly cloudy with a chance of showers and thunderstorms and warm.
The forecast for Orlando, FL is partly cloudy and warm.
The forecast for Michigan is cool with a chance of showers.
The forecast for Wisconsin is partly cloudy and cool.
The forecast for Minnesota is cool with a chance of showers.
The forecast for Nevada is mostly clear and mild.
The forecast for New Mexico is partly cloudy and cool.
The forecast for Colorado is partly cloudy and cool.
And it's always nice in Hawaii!
ABC News Vote 2004: Florida:
"Overwhelming numbers of Broward County Democrats have turned out to vote early in next week's election in what analysts say could be a bad sign for President Bush's chances to win the state," the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports. LINK
"Sen. John Kerry's campaign has pressed hard to get voters to the polls early in Broward's Democratic strongholds, knowing it must run up huge numbers here to offset Republican areas in Northern and Central Florida. As of Thursday morning, more than twice as many Democrats as Republicans had either voted at early voting sites or returned absentee ballots in the county."
The New York Times' Alessandra Stanley looks at the slamming by political ads the Miami voters are getting -- 1,100 spots in the last week in Miami/Ft. Lauderdale -- and writes that "practically the only escape from election unease on television is to watch ESPN or the Cartoon Network." LINK
If you're looking to vote early in Central Florida, get to the polls early. LINK
Adam Smith of the St. Pete Times curtain-raises Bush and Kerry's Tampa rallies on Sunday. LINK
We could send you the rest of the links ourselves, but why not get 'em from the source: LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Hawaii:
For a non-battleground state, Hawaii is getting a bunch of last-minute attention. With their four electoral votes potentially in play, Hawaiians will be bombarded this weekend by present and former vice presidents.
Former Vice President Al Gore is tentatively scheduled to be there today with Alexandra Kerry for a 7 p.m. local (1 a.m. ET) event in Honolulu. They will be joined by Democrats Rep. Neil Abercrombie, and likely, Sens. Inouye and Akaka.
Current Vice President Cheney will be heading to the capital of the Aloha state himself Sunday for an 11 p.m. local time event (4 a.m. ET).
Al Gore won Hawaii in 2000 by a very safe 55.8%-37.5%.
The Honolulu Advertiser posted the announcement of Cheney's event at 4:49 p.m. local, saying "The 11 p.m. event is aimed at boosting Republican turnout in the Islands and appealing to undecided voters before Tuesday's election." LINK
An "Urgent" link on the news page of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin's home page announces Cheney's impending visit, and the paper reports "Bush campaign chairman Ken Mehlman announced the Cheney trip in a telephone call to Gov. Linda Lingle in front of news media." LINK
Buried at the bottom of that alert is the impending visit of Alexandra Kerry. No mention of Al Gore's plans.
Yesterday's Honolulu Star-Bulletin wrote up the DNC's Hawai'i-customized ad that hit airwaves. LINK
So, the question going into this weekend is: if Hawaii is really as close as these to papers and local sources believe it to be (because local sources from both sides of the aisle insist the newspaper polls could be underestimating Bush's lead there), who is going to make more of an impact on Hawaii voters -- Vice President Cheney or Vice President Gore?
ABC News Vote 2004: Pennsylvania:
Who in Pennsylvania is this appealing to? The Philadelphia Inquirer's Parmley sets the scene at the President's event in Bucks County, Pa. last night. There are, in fact, bales of hay, a silo, and a flag-draped barn involved. LINK
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Campbell declares it an appropriate backdrop. LINK
Teresa Heinz Kerry made an appeal for her husband yesterday to black ward leaders in Philadelphia. LINK
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: "The ACLU on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit seeking to overturn laws in Mt. Lebanon and Monroeville that require canvassers, including those pushing political candidates, to get municipal permission before going door to door." LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Iowa:
Say what you will about Iowa, but Democrats there say they have 62,000 more absentee ballots banked than Republicans.
"Cheney calls Kerry weapons charges 'outrageous'," is the headline on J. Janeczko Jacobs' report in the Des Moines Register on the Vice President's visit to Sioux City yesterday. LINK
"Edwards, celebrities wow students at Simpson" reports Meghan Hawkins as she reports in the Des Moines Register on Leonardo DiCaprio and John Bon Jovi joining the Senator yesterday at Simpson College in Indianola. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Wisconsin:
Craig Gilbert has the latest Badger Poll numbers in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel showing President Bush at 48 percent, John Kerry at 45 percent, and Ralph Nader pulling in 3 percent of the vote here. And Gilbert points to the candidates' schedules to indicate that the campaigns are well aware how tight the race is in Wisconsin. LINK
"As their schedules now stand, in three of the final seven days of the race Bush and Kerry will have been in the state on the same day. Vice President Cheney is in Wisconsin on three consecutive days this week."
"The contrast between Kerry's Madison appearance Thursday and President Bush's bus tour through western Wisconsin Tuesday highlighted the divided nature of this election in Wisconsin, where polls show Bush and Kerry running neck- and-neck. Crowds at the Bush events cheered the president's stance against abortion rights and his proposal for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. On Tuesday, the crowd cheered when Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton said Kerry would appoint pro-abortion rights justices to the Supreme Court and U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin slammed Bush's proposal to ban gay marriage, saying Democrats 'would never write discrimination into (the) Constitution,'" writes Dee J. Hall of the Wisconsin State Journal. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Colorado:
The Denver Post reports Senate candidates Coors and Salazar are tied at 46 percent support, with a four percentage point margin of error. LINK
A must-read of GOTV efforts in the Rocky Mountain state. LINK
According to a Rocky Mountain News/News 4 poll released Friday Amendment 36 is "sinking 60-32." LINK
A look at the mixture of faith and politics in Colorado. LINK
The number of unaffiliated voters in Colorado is HUGE. LINK
"Election clerks are already trying to identify more than 6,000 felons statewide who are under the control of the Department of Corrections and ineligible to vote but remained on the voter rolls anyway," reports the Denver Post. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: Nevada:
The Washington Post's Evelyn Nieves writes that "Yucca Mountain may decide" Nevada's vote. LINK
Or maybe not.
Kit Seelye of the New York Times writes about Ralph Nader's Thursday "monologue," at a press conference in Washington Thursday. She writes "it was less a call to arms than a not-so-fond farewell to a bitter campaign." LINK
Wall Street Journal's Amy Schatz calls Nader "the Democrats' nagging headache." LINK
Although Ralph Nader has lost most of the support he had in the 2000 election, he will be on the ballot in 34 states. LINK
Ralph Nader tells the Hartford Advocate what his presidential cabinet would look like. "Janet Reynolds, she would be my press secretary. Richard Debs [board member of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, we think] would be my secretary of state. [Illinois Republican Congressional candidate] Marvin Bailey Scott would be my department secretary of commerce. Jan Pierce, former vice president of the communication workers of America, will be my secretary of labor. [New Jersey attorney and Green politician] Carl Mayer will be my attorney general." LINK
Kerry supporter Jesse Ventura held up for Nader's right to run before a group of college students Thursday. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:
Helen Dewar Notes that the Louisiana Senate race might not be decided until December, and that a Kerry victory would lead to a Senate race in late spring. LINK
USA Today's Andrea Stone sees "costly" and "caustic" Senate races. LINK
The Charlotte Observer's Jim Morrill reports that breast cancer is becoming a central issue in the Burr-Bowles race. LINK
The New York Times' Sheryl Gay Stolberg on the Kentucky Senate race, where incumbent Jim Bunning finds himself going from a front runner over Daniel Mongiardo to fighting, as the cliché goes, for his political life. LINK
The latest Mason-Dixon poll for the Orlando Sentinel shows Martinez and Castor tied -- complete with the most egregious example of poll reporting we have ever seen. LINK
And the race is still nasty and ugly. LINK
In the Wall Street Journal, ABC News' Jonathan Karl reviews a new book by Geoffrey Stone called Perilous Times. Read it and you'll be smarter about American history — and Tuesday's election. LINK
—8:30 am: The Commerce Department releases its advance report on the third quarter GDP
—9:00 am: Vice President Cheney attends a 72-hr kickoff rally in Eau Claire, WI
—9:00 am: Doro Bush Koch hosts a live chat on www.GeorgeWBush.com/chat to discuss how women can turn out the vote
—9:15 am: Elizabeth Edwards holds an early vote gathering at Kleman Plaza, Tallahassee, FL
—10:00 am: Sen. John Edwards holds a rally at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, WI
—10:30 am: Sen. John Kerry speaks at the Orlando Centroplex Exhibit Center, Orlando, FL
—10:30 am: Gov. Ed Rendell holds a rally on behalf of the Kerry-Edwards ticket at Cabrini College, Randor, PA
—10:30 am: Chris Heinz and actress Kristin Dunst campaign on behalf of the Kerry-Edwards ticket at Michigan State, East Lansing, MI
—10:45 am: President Bush holds a rally at the Verizon Wireless Arena, Manchester, NH
—10:45 am: White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card campaigns on behalf of the Bush-Cheney ticket at the Hilltop Restaurant, Ellsworth, ME
—11:30 am: Gov. Jeb Bush campaigns on behalf of the Bush-Cheney ticket at the Goodlette Senior Center, Hieleah, FL
—11:30 am: Gen. Wesley Clark speaks at a rally at the University of Minnesota Law School, Albuquerque, NM
—11:45 am: Sen. Zell Miller headlines an RNC Victory 2004 rally at Radisson Riverwalk, Jacksonville, FL
—12:00 pm: Gen. Tommy Franks headlines an RNC Victory 2004 rally at the American Legion, Tampa, FL
—12:30 pm: George P. Bush visits the BC04 headquarters, Columbus, OH
—12:45 pm: President Bush holds a rally at the Pease International Tradeport Airport, Portsmouth, NH
—12:50 pm: Vice President Cheney attends a Victory Rally in Diamondale, MI
—1:00 pm: Ralph Nader speaks at Loyola University, New Orleans, LA
—1:30 pm: Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. Norm Coleman, and Gov. Tim Pawlenty hold a rally on behalf of the Bush-Cheney ticket, St. Paul, MN
—1:45 pm: George P. Bush visits the BC04 phone bank at the Springfield Victory Center, Springfield, OH
—1:45 pm: Sen. Miller headlines an RNC Victory 2004 rally at the VFW Post, Gainesville, FL
—2:00 pm: Sen. Kerry holds a Fresh Start for America Rally at the Meyer Amphitheater, West Palm Beach, FL
—2:45 pm: Sen. Edwards holds a rally at the L.C. Walker Arena, Muskegon, MI
—3:00 pm: George P. Bush visits the BC04 phone bank at the Miamisburg Victory Center, Miamisburg, OH
—3:00 pm: Arnold Schwarzenegger calls into Sean Hannity's radio show
—3:20 pm: Former President George H. W. Bush and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush hold a Victory 2004 rally at PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
—4:30 pm: President Bush holds a rally at the SeaGate Convention Centre, Toledo, OH
—4:15 pm: George P. Bush visits the BC04 phone bank at the Lebanon Victory Center, Lebanon, OH
—4:55 pm: Vice President Cheney attends a Victory Rally in Williamsport, PA
—5:00 pm: Former President Bill Clinton speaks to GOTV rally in Las Vegas, NV
—5:30 pm: George P. Bush visits the Butler Republican Party headquarters, Fairfield, OH
—5:30 pm: Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney campaigns on behalf of the Bush-Cheney ticket at the Marquette, MI Victory Center
—6:00 pm: John Kerry's brother Cam Kerry visits the Bint Jebial Cultural Center, Dearborn, MI
—6:45 pm: George P. Bush visits the BC04 phone bank at the Hamilton Victory Center, Cincinnati, OH
—7:00 pm: Sen. Kerry holds a Fresh Start for America rally with Bruce Springsteen at Bayfront Park Amphitheater, Miami, FL
—7:10 pm: President Bush holds a rally at the Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
—6:15 pm: Sen. and Elizabeth Edwards cast their vote for President, Raleigh, NC
—7:30 pm: Sen. Edwards holds a rally with Bon Jovi, the Goo Goo Dolls, and Blues Traveler at the North Carolina State fairgrounds, Raleigh, NC
—8:00 pm: Jenna and Barbara Bush speak at the Buck County Republican Party Fall Dinner at Fisher's Tudor House, Bensalem, PA
—9:30 pm: Martin Sheen campaign on behalf of the Kerry-Edwards ticket at La Posada, Albuquerque, FL
—12:00 am: (Saturday) Former Vice President Al Gore, Alex Kerry, and Sens. Akaka and Inouye participate in a concert held for Rep. Neil Abercrombie rally at Farrington High School, Honolulu, HI