The Note: Bringing It Home




Morning Show Wrap

Evening Newscasts Wrap

Polls open in less than 24 hours


We have never covered a nicer group of people -- on both sides.

And we have never covered so many campaign workers -- senior and junior -- who are just positively desperate for the campaign to end.

(The press corps feels exactly the same way . . . )

In fact, on both sides, the talk for weeks has been a lot more about the battle ending, rather than about winning.

As for that "winning" thing --

Both sides can look at the public polling and see horserace numbers and internals that give them hope and optimism.

But the weekend polls tell us little beyond that President Bush is probably a little ahead nationally and under 50 but close to 50, but that perhaps John Kerry has more strength in the battlegrounds than nationally, which doesn't necessarily mean of course that he is ahead in enough battlegrounds to win, and so either man can prevail but it is close.

It's better to be a tick ahead if you're the incumbent, but Mr. Bush's placement is not a particularly comfortable place to be. But neither is Mr. Kerry's.

Reporters keep asking both sides if they think they will win, and if their private polls show them ahead, but the big eternal question of American presidential campaign journalism ("If a campaign had polling at the end showing it was losing, would it start to tell reporters that?") will remain unanswered for at least another four years.

In at least one state (and maybe more), Kerry can take heart from some early and absentee voting numbers. But his reliance on young and first-time voters should be -- for sane Democrats -- terrifying.

"I would much prefer our position than theirs," Bush strategist Matthew Dowd tells USA Today. "They would, too, if given truth serum."

Seems like an interesting test: someone hold Shrum down on the plane, and let's try it!!!!

Both candidates and both campaigns like to play down the prospect of overtime, even as they continue unprecedented preparations for that possibility.

What you need to know about Ohio (which, along with Florida, remains a hotbed of pre-election jockeying on the ballot watch front): in the last few hours, two federal judges, one Republican and one Democrat, stuck down Ohio's voter challenge statute.

The GOP will appeal.

So going into Election Day in Ohio, we don't know whether challengers and poll watchers will be allowed at the polls, except for DOJ monitors.

Now then: $600 million worth of ads, well over a billion dollars raised and spent, hundreds of millions of dollars of GOTV efforts, 39 states visited -- and today, President Bush and Sen. John Kerry are separated by only three blocks and one hour in Milwaukee, WI. "Battle in Brewtown. Clash in Cream City. Milwaukee: the final conflict," leads the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. LINK

In the days before the 2000 election then-Gov. Bush made a show of not campaigning extensively in the final days, portraying himself as above the fray despite his advisors' knowledge that the race was closer than they pronounced publicly.

No such story this time: Bush has seven events today, and combined with Kerry, Cheney, and Edwards, the four principals combine for 22 events in 13 states, beginning at 4:00 am ET and not ending until after Election Day begins.

Yesterday's fulcrum was Ohio; today's is downtown Milwaukee. At 12:30 pm ET, President Bush holds a rally at U.S. Cellular Arena. An hour later (assuming he's on time), Sen. Kerry holds a rally at the corner of Water and State Streets. Total distance: 0.8 miles.


The President's seven rallies (and only the first is at an airport!):

7:30 am in Wilmington, OH

9:30 am in Burgettstown, PA (a middle-of-nowhere town that hits PA, OH, and WV TV markets)

12:30 pm with the Oak Ridge Boys and Brooks & Dunn at the U.S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, WI

3:05 pm in Des Moines, IA

5:20 pm in Sioux City, IA

8:45 pm in Albuquerque, NM

11:35 pm at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX

Sen. Kerry's schedule, highlighted by an evening rally with Bruce Springsteen (sorry JBJ . . .)

10:10 am meets supporters upon departing Orlando

1:40 pm rally with Bon Jovi at the corner of Water and State streets in Milwaukee, WI

6:05 pm rally at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit

9:00 pm rally with Teresa Heinz Kerry and Bruce Springsteen at City Hall in Cleveland

11:30 pm rally in Toledo, OH

(Kerry flies to La Crosse, WI to sleep)

Vice President Cheney, continuing his 39-hour campaign day, has finished his Honolulu, HI trip and is flying to Colorado Springs for a 12:15 pm ET rally. Cheney holds later rallies in Henderson, NV at 5:15 pm ET, Sparks, NV at 8:45 pm ET, and 11:20 pm ET in his hometown, Jackson Hole, WY.

Sen. John Edwards rallies St. Paul, MN at 9:30 am ET, thanks volunteers in Des Moines at 12:15 pm ET and 4:15 pm ET in Cincinnati, holds an airport rally at 6:40 pm ET in solidly Republican Pensacola; and ends with a rally featuring Jimmy Buffet in Pompano Beach, FL at 10:45 pm ET.

Laura Bush is in Ohio and Michigan before rejoining her husband; Teresa Heinz Kerry is in Pennsylvania; and Elizabeth Edwards is in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Iowa.

Ralph Nader is in New York City.

Surrogate Watch:

Wisconsin: Former President Bush is with his granddaughters Jenna and Barbara Bush; former Vice President Al Gore, Michael J. Fox.

Florida: Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. Zell Miller; Michael Moore (on MoveOn's behalf).

Iowa: Gov. Vilsack and Sen. Harkin.

New Mexico: Gen. Wesley Clark, Rob Reiner, and Gov. Richardson; Sen. John McCain with Rep. Pearce and Gen. "Gunner" Laws.

Minnesota: Sen. Norm Coleman.

New Hampshire: Former Gov. Shaheen and Cate Edwards, DNC Chairman McAuliffe, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean.

Colorado: Former Kerry crewmate James Rassmann, former Sen. Gary Hart.

Maine: Al Franken.

For a full listing of the surrogate schedules, see our special section at the end of The Note.

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry: polls:

Wall Street Journal's Rogers, Hitt, and Harwood write up the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, which shows Bush at 48 percent and Kerry at 47 percent among likely voters, Noting that the bin Laden tape "hasn't proved to be a consequential 'October surprise.'" LINK

The three also write that "Bush advisers noted late movement toward the Republican ticket in Ohio; one senior Kerry adviser, after days in which the campaign had been especially bullish on the state, predicted Florida's 27 electoral votes might be easier to grab than Ohio's 20." But they get Rep. Rob Portman to admit that "We are allowing Sen. Kerry to paint us into a corner I'm afraid people are believing" Kerry's attacks on the President over outsourcing.

There are Bush advisers more bullish on Ohio than Florida (and vice versa) and Kerry advisers more bullish on Ohio than Florida (and vice versa).

The toplines: LINK

Adam Nagourney and Janet Elder write up the new New York Times/CBS News poll, which has Bush at 49 percent and Kerry at 46 percent -- a statistical tie -- among likely voters but shows an increase in the President's job approval rating (49 percent from 44 percent two weeks ago) and a right track number that has ticked up to 43 percent from 37 percent two weeks ago -- the highest number since Saddam Hussein was captured, the duo Note. LINK

Among the African-American voters polled, 79 percent said they expect a deliberate effort to prevent them from voting (compared to 28 percent among white respondents).

Poll wrap: LINK

The new (and last before the election) Gallup poll has Bush and Kerry tied at 49% among likely voters, with some energetic pushing of undecideds to Mr. Kerry. LINK

Gallup state polls: LINK

USA Today's Susan Page reports, "Across the dozen battleground states expected to determine the winner, Kerry holds a 5-percentage-point edge — including small leads among likely voters in the critical states of Ohio and Florida. He trails by a similar margin in the third big battleground, Pennsylvania." LINK

Knight Ridder's Steven Thomma reports on the new Mason-Dixon polls for Knight Ridder and MSNBC that show Bush with "strong leads in three of the 15 battleground states surveyed -- Arkansas, Colorado, and West Virginia -- all states he carried in 2000. He held a six-point lead in Nevada and narrower leads in six others." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry: where things stand:

The Chicago Tribune's Zuckman and Silva write, "The chase-the-sun, no-moment-to-lose nature of the campaigning reinforced what a raft of new national and, more important, battleground-state polls showed -- that the race appeared to be a statistical draw and likely would be decided by modest swings of voters whom the campaigns are targeting with a surgical precision." LINK

USA Today's Judy Keen writes that Bush's advisers "say they believe he is gaining in Florida" and "acknowledge that his support in Ohio dipped last week but believe he can still win there." LINK

The Washington Post's Romano and Allen wrap Sunday on the trail. LINK

"State polls offered few clues to the outcome, with Ohio and Florida still the most significant and hotly contested states. Strategists on both sides expressed optimism Sunday about their candidate's chances of winning Florida and said Ohio remains too close to call."

The New York Times has excellent peeks into the moods of the candidates in the final days: turns out they're both loose and (apparently) enjoying themselves. LINK and LINK

USA Today's editorial board Notes that each candidate "is rated 'highly unfavorable' by more voters than any major-party candidate since 1964 GOP nominee Barry Goldwater -- the byproduct of a caustic campaign, a divisive war and a presidency that voters love or loathe." LINK

The New York Times' David Halbfinger and Jim Rutenberg create a sense of drama by throwing the phrase "epic cacophony of advertisements" into the lede of their wrap of Sunday's events and the $60 million spent on campaign spots this cycle. LINK

The final pitches, church visits, and Sunday morning talk show jabs all make it into the excellent campaign wrap provided in the Los Angeles Times by tireless superstars Matea Gold and Maura Reynolds. LINK

Josh Getlin of the Los Angeles Times takes a look at the pulpit politics on display yesterday. LINK

Anne Kornblut of the Boston Globe reports on President Bush and Sen. Kerry's final push -- pulling out all the stops and joined by activists all across the country. Kornblut Notes, "partisans on both sides expressed unease as they scoured the political landscape for evidence of momentum in the race, still tight despite $600 million in advertisements and the largest grass-roots effort to mobilize voters in recent memory." LINK

The Los Angeles Times explores married white women who never went to college as one demographic holdout which could prove decisive tomorrow. LINK

Mark Z. Barabak of the Los Angeles Times takes a fascinating look back at all the truisms of presidential politics that were completely debunked this cycle and Charlie Cook thinks it has something to do with the level of interest and passion on the part of the electorate. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Jeff Zaslow takes an adorable look at campaign parents -- particularly the adorable Mehlmans and Bianchis (and Mrs. Eisenhauer), Noting that the legions of unmarried political operatives will have their parents to come home to after a possible loss. LINK

"No single campaign issue has defined the presidential candidates' differences more clearly than the war in Iraq. Yet it seems that whoever wins Tuesday's election will steer a remarkably similar course in the troubled country," write Marshall and Rubin of the Los Angeles Times. LINK

On the day before the election, Kerry pens an op-ed piece in his hometown paper -- the Boston Globe -- today, laying out the choice before America's voters tomorrow -- it strays not from his stump speech. "In the closing days of this campaign, I ask Americans to choose the vision John Glenn embodies and Christopher Reeve never abandoned." LINK

Marc Racicot, chairman of the Bush-Cheney campaign, writes the Republican response. LINK

"Voters face a clear choice on Tuesday. A choice between greater freedom for individuals and families or more power in the hands of the federal government. A choice between steady, principled leadership in the war on terror or uncertain leadership that sends mixed signals to our allies, our enemies, and our men and women in uniform."

The Boston Globe's Peter Canellos visits the Rust Belt and reports, "[V]oters here, as elsewhere, seem torn." LINK

Curt Schilling may be out on the campaign trail with President Bush, but Sen. Kerry is not being totally dissed by his hometown team. Patrick Healy of the Boston Globe Notes the support of the team's three leaders. LINK

Editor and Publisher's Greg Mitchell sends along his final endorsement tally: LINK

208-199, Kerry, with 44 switches from Bush in 2000. Another 16 papers for Bush in 2000 have declared their neutrality.

The analysts:

On Good Morning America, ABC's George Stephanopoulos said that both campaigns honestly believe they are going to win, based on their "very different" models of who is going to turn out. "Both of them have an eerie confidence," Stephanopoulos. "Democrats say 110, 115, 120 million are going to vote… and these new voters are going to carry them to victory. Republicans say no way: We know who are base is. They're going to come out."

Stephanopoulos also Noted that many of the battleground states could all break the same way, and that "if the number of provisional ballots exceed the margin of victory, it could be days – weeks before we know who won."

On Today, Tim Russert said he doesn't know who has the momentum. Traditionally, Russert said that if an incumbent is below 50 percent it is very hard for an incumbent to win a race. But is this a traditional race, Russert asked, and will undecideds break for the challenger? Or is the specter of terrorism so great that they will go to the incumbent? Does Kerry have a big edge among newly registered voters that is not showing up in polls? Russert did some Electoral College math in front of a large Electoral College map. He used a pen.

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush vs. Kerry: the field:

The field generals for Bush-Cheney '04 and the Republican National Committee: Senior strategist Karl Rove, BC04 campaign manager Ken Mehlman, RNC deputy chair Maria Cino, RNC political director Blaise Hazelwood, RNC national field director Dan Gurley, Bush field director Coddy Johnson, Bush political director Terry Nelson.

The field generals for Kerry-Edwards '04 and the Democratic National Committee: Campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill, senior adviser John Sasso, DNC general election strategist Michael Whouley, senior strategists Doug Sosnik, Tad Devine, Jill Alper and John Giesser, DNC national field director Karen Hicks, Kerry campaign political director Steve Elmendorf, Kerry campaign senior political adviser Paul Rivera, strategists Teresa Vilmain and John Norris. (The leader of the Democrats' paramilitary force is Steve Rosenthal).

The pollsters and the admakers can stand down. The people listed above (and their armies) will probably decide who wins.

The Washington Post's Dan Balz and Tom Edsall on the field mobilization:

"In the Minneapolis suburb of Plymouth on Saturday, two GOP voters reported that the Bush campaign had already contacted them three times. In Ohio, Democrats said they had 27,000 people working phone banks and on Saturday night made 399,446 calls. A Bush campaign official said they were contacting 400,000 people a day in Ohio as well. In Pennsylvania, the Bush campaign planned to contact 2 million voters between Friday and Election Day." LINK

"The weekend blitz represented the culmination of many months of preparation by the campaigns, which along with their outside allies will spend $300 million and perhaps much more on targeting and turning out their voters. Longtime organizers say they have never seen so much money available for such an effort."

"Bush's budget for voter mobilization is about $125 million, at least triple that of four years ago, a knowledgeable official said. Kerry's field operation, run out of the Democratic National Committee, will spend nearly $60 million, more than doubling what the Democrats spent in 2000, campaign officials said."

"Supplementing the campaigns and party operations are outside groups, the biggest and potentially most important being America Coming Together, a pro-Kerry organization funded with 'soft money,' that is likely to spend $100 million to $125 million. Organized labor also will spend tens of millions to reach union members. "

"Republicans say the battle on the ground represents a test of opposing theories of how to reach voters in an era when attention spans are limited and information sources plentiful. Both sides are using a mix of paid staff and volunteers, but the GOP is far more dependent on a volunteer corps of organizers more than 1 million strong. Democrats, with ACT's help, have a more professional operation to turn out their loyalists."

"Democrats have about 250,000 volunteers, compared with 90,000 four years ago, and contest the GOP suggestion that they mainly rely on paid professionals. But Karen Hicks, national field director for the campaign at the Democratic National Committee, said Democrats have far more experienced organizers than the Republicans, noting that one county in Florida is being managed by someone who ran the entire state of Pennsylvania for Bill Clinton in 1992."

The Wall Street Journal's Cummings and Calmes do a great set-up of the Blaise Hazelwood vs. JoDee Winterhof battle tomorrow, writing that the who will win comes down to one question: "Who does the best job of turning out the vote tomorrow?" LINK

Note quiz: which of those gals provided The Note's sub-headline today?

ABC News Vote 2004: ballotwatch: legal wars:

The New York Times' Zernike and Yardley write that "elections officials say that charges of voter intimidation and voter fraud, on the street or in courtrooms, are flying more furiously than any one can remember in recent elections." LINK

Maine and Vermont allow felons to vote from jail, the New York Times Notes. LINK

The U.S. Department of Justice is sending out monitors safeguard the rights of Hispanic voters at the polls. LINK

The Washington Times notes "about 60 mainly European election observers" are getting in on the ballot watch action. LINK

E-mail your ballot watch questions, concerns, and updates to

ABC News Vote 2004: Ohio:

Breaking news from Ohio overnight:

Per the AP, "A federal judge issued an order early Monday barring political party challengers from polling places throughout Ohio during Tuesday's election. U.S. District Judge Susan Dlott found that the application of Ohio's statute allowing challengers at polling places is unconstitutional. She said the presence of challengers inexperienced in the electoral process questioning voters about their eligibility would impede voting. Dlott ruled on a lawsuit by a black Cincinnati couple who said Republican plans to deploy challengers to largely black precincts in Hamilton County was meant to intimidate and block black voters. Republicans said they wanted to prevent voter fraud."

And in a very surprising decision, ABC News' Ellen Davis reports that a federal district court judge in Akron, Ohio this morning issued an order in which he, too, struck down the Ohio challenge statute. This ruling as well as Judge Dlott's on the same issue will be appealed by Republicans this morning in the 6th circuit court.

So, again, going into Election Day in Ohio, we don't know whether challengers and poll watchers will be allowed at the polls.

Mark Niquette of the Columbus Dispatch provides an excellent primer on the court cases surrounding Ohio's statutes concerning polling site challengers. LINK

Dual registrants in Florida and Ohio: a recipe for fraud? LINK

The New York Times' James Dao on getting voters to the polls in Ohio. LINK

Hallet and Craig of the Columbus Dispatch provide these excellent nuggets for you election night analyst types. LINK

"In 2000, Bush piled up a 22-point advantage against Democrat Al Gore in southwestern Ohio en route to a 3.6-point statewide victory. In the last 10 presidential elections, Republican presidential nominees have averaged beating their Democratic counterparts in southwestern Ohio by 20 points."

The Columbus Dispatch's Rowland and Riskind report that new voters, if they show up to the polls, can make all the difference in Ohio this year. LINK

"In Ohio ZIP codes where Gore took at least 70 percent of the vote, 163,000 new voters were added to the rolls this year -- double the total for the areas where Bush won 70 percent or more."

"Another way of looking at it: Of the 22 Ohio ZIP codes that show an increase of at least 5,000 voters this year, Gore carried 16 in 2000, including five in the Cleveland area where the vice president took more than 90 percent of the vote."

"Republicans need an unprecedented turnout of conservative voters in Southwest Ohio in record numbers to combat the hundreds of thousands of newly registered Democrats in the northern part of the state," write the Cincinnati Enquirer's Korte and Aldridge. LINK

A list of Republican and Democratic electors from Ohio, courtesy of the Associated Press. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Florida:

The Washington Post's Roig-Franzia and Russakoff on pre-election problems in Florida. LINK

Early voting and electronic machines may give us an early, accurate look at where things stand in Florida. LINK

A good look at how one county is preparing for challengers. LINK

Several dozen absentee ballots have already been contested in Palm Beach County. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Iowa:

The New York Times' Michael Moss looks at some late negative signs in Iowa for President Bush, Noting that "The tight race here could slip into legal warfare as soon as 6 a.m. Monday, when election officials in numerous counties begin unwrapping completed absentee ballots in preparation for counting." LINK

Voters in Iowa look past Tuesday's election to healing their divided state, Notes the Des Moines Register. LINK

Cheney blasts Kerry one day after the Des Moines Register Poll shows Kerry leading the state 48-45 LINK

Edwards passes out candy, stumps in Waterloo, reports Jeffery Patch of the Des Moines Register LINK

David Yepsen of the Des Moines Register writes that Kerry is in a good position to win Iowa, Noting "Some 27 percent of likely voters have already voted. Kerry carried 52 percent of them, Bush captured only 41 percent. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Minnesota:

Final Minnesota visits by Sen. Edwards and other surrogates are detailed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Also in this pre-election round-up is a look at final ads. "A wave of new television ads cropped up over the weekend after a Vietnam veterans group critical of Kerry's wartime service bought $500,000 of airtime in Minnesota alone for the final three days of the campaign. The Swift Boat Veterans and POWs for Truth have spent $19.5 million nationwide questioning Kerry's service and his decision to speak out against the war after having fought in it." LINK

The front page of the Pioneer Press is almost its own GOTV effort. All voting questions answered. LINK

The Pioneer Press' Stassen-Berger looks at the last-minute ad blitz and the reasons for it. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Nevada:

The Washington Post's Evelyn Nieves looks at the advocates showing up in Nevada in droves inspired by their opposition to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Pennsylvania:

The serious ground war push has begun in Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia Inquirer's team of Infield, Parmley, and Moore give us a sense of the battlefield and who is out all over the state. LINK

James O'Toole of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette offers a one-stop-shop of what's going on in battleground Pennsylvania for this final push. LINK

The Philadelphia Daily News' Erin Einhorn does something similar, but also looks at tomorrow. LINK

Straight to the hearts of Security Moms everywhere, but particularly in the Philadelphia area, the Philadelphia Daily News' Ronnie Polaneczky looks at the family of a U.S. soldier listed as captured in the Iraq war under the headline "Tomorrow's vote won't ease anxiety of Ohio GI's family." LINK

Gov. Ed Rendell's comments suggesting Osama bin Laden was trying to help George Bush win the election gets some local Philadelphia Inquirer coverage. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Wisconsin:

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has all the details on the agreement reached between the city and the Republican Party of Wisconsin yesterday. LINK

"Under the agreement, a list of 5,512 prospective city voters whose addresses are questionable will be distributed to polling places."

"Those on the list who show up to vote will be asked to fill out a change of address card or registration form, and to show proof of residency - a driver's license, utility bill or some other document showing an address - before casting their ballot."

"Anyone without proof of residency at an address on the list will have to take an oath, and that person's ballot will be marked as being challenged by the poll worker."

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney '04:

The Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein explains why after facing a tough news environment on Iraq and the economy and with a less than stellar approval rating, George W. Bush is still very much in this race. LINK

"It's a testament to the strength of President Bush's connection with his base that he's still running stride for stride with Democrat John F. Kerry, and possibly half a step ahead, in the presidential campaign's final hours."

More Brownstein: "For him to be so close to gaining a second term under such adverse conditions shows how strong a floor of political support Bush has built. But absent a decisive last-minute break, Tuesday's results are also likely to show a low ceiling for Bush. The two facts are not coincidental. The design of Bush's presidency has left him with a firm hold on about half the country, but with the other half increasingly beyond his reach."

And Brownstein is sure to include Tony Fabrizio's colorful quote of the day: "'If he wins, he will have squeezed every ounce that he could have gotten out of his base,' said Tony Fabrizio, the pollster for GOP nominee Bob Dole in 1996."

Brownstein concludes that no matter what the result of tomorrow's election will be, it appears that Karl Rove's plan to expand a Republican majority in this country has not come to fruition… yet.

Gen. Tommy Franks writes on the Wall Street Journal's op-ed page that President Bush is the right leader at the right time. LINK

In what could, for a variety of reasons, end up being her final shot at it, Elisabeth Bumiller of the New York Times makes her umpteenth effort to "get" Karl Rove, in which she Notes his recent sunny disposition and writes that "almost nobody knows if Mr. Rove's cheery mood means he is convinced from the campaign's polling that Mr. Bush will win, or whether it is a front to try to put a positive spin on a bad turn of events." LINK

The New York Times' David Kirkpatrick looks at the stakes for evangelical Christian voters in this election, and some mixed political emotions among them. LINK

The New York Times' Joel Brinkley looks at why some local newscasters find Vice President Cheney's message discipline not newsworthy. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Kerry-Edwards '04:

Wrapping Edwards' Sunday canvassing in Ohio, the New York Times' Randy Archibold reports he did newspaper interviews with Hawaii political reporters. LINK

Bob Novak has been waiting to use this headline for a while: "Is Kerry relevant to 2004 election?" LINK

An influential Green Bay Bishop urged the city's substantial Catholics to vote against Kerry, based on his stance on abortion. LINK

The Washington Post's Sylvia Moreno on Clinton's stumping for Kerry in Arkansas. LINK


Ralph Nader will hold his last major 2004 campaign rally today in New York City. LINK

Chanteuse Patti Smith's support for Ralph Nader endures like her 1975 classic album, Horses. She will perform at today's Naderfest. LINK

USA Today's Andrea Stone writes that Nader "plodded toward the end," "schlepping from near-empty auditoriums to lecture halls packed with idealistic college students -- and just as many disenchanted former supporters." LINK

Knight Ridder's Maria Recio writes that Nader "is more isolated than ever, down to a small cadre of family and hard-core acolytes." LINK


Tom Shales thinks that "neither presidential candidate has made particularly effective use of television this year." LINK

Howie Kurtz looks skeptically at the media's 2004 record. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Flint and Murray on the race among the networks to get it right instead of first. LINK

TODAY'S SCHEDULE (all times ET):

—7:30 am: President, Mrs. Bush, and Curt Schilling hold a Victory '04 rally at the ABX Air Hanger, Wilmington, OH

—9:10 am: Laura Bush holds a Victory '04 rally at the International Exposition Center, Cleveland, OH

—9:30 am: President Bush holds a Victory '04 rally at the Post-Gazette Pavilion, Burgettstown, PA

—9:30 am: Sen. John Edwards holds a Fresh Start for America rally at Hamline University, St. Paul, MN

—10:00 am: Elizabeth Edwards greets volunteers, Eau Claire, OH

—10:10 am: Sen. John Kerry rallies supporters upon departing Orlando, FL

—11:15 am: Laura Bush holds a Victory '04 rally at Macomb Community College, Clinton Township, MI

—12:00 pm: Ralph Nader holds a rally across from the New York Stock Exchange in Federal Hall, New York, NY

—12:15 pm: Vice President Cheney holds a rally at the Penrose Equestrian Center, Colorado Springs, CO

—12:15 pm: Sen. Edwards thanks volunteers, Des Moines, IA

—12:30 pm: President Bush holds a Victory '04 rally with Oak Ridge Boys and Brooks & Dunn at the U.S. Cellular Arena, Milwaukee, WI

—12:30 pm: Elizabeth Edwards greets volunteers, Zanesville, OH

—1:30 pm: Teresa Heinz Kerry holds a GOTV rally at Scranton Public high school, Scranton, PA

—1:40 pm: Sen. Kerry holds a rally at the corner of Water and State streets with Bon Jovi, Milwaukee, WI

—3:05 pm: President and Mrs. Bush hold a Victory '04 rally at the Iowa State Fairgrounds, Des Moines, IA

—3:30 pm: Elizabeth Edwards greets Toledo, OH voters and volunteers

—4:00 pm: Teresa Heinz Kerry holds a Get out the Vote Rally at the Teamsters Local Union #771, Lancaster, PA

—4:15 pm: Sen. Edwards meets with GOTV volunteers, Cincinnati, OH

—5:15 pm: Vice President Cheney holds a rally at Green Valley High School, Henderson, NV

—5:20 pm: President and Mrs. Bush hold a Victory '04 rally at the Tyson Events Center, Sioux City, IA

—6:05 pm: Sen. Kerry holds a Fresh Start for America rally at Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, MI

—6:30 pm: Elizabeth Edwards greets volunteers, Davenport, IA

—6:40 pm: Sen. Edwards holds a Fresh Start for America rally at the airport, Pensacola, FL

—7:00 pm: Ralph Nader appears on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360"

—8:00 pm: Ralph Nader holds a rally with Patti Smith in Cooper Square, New York, NY

—8:45 pm: President and Mrs. Bush hold a Victory '04 at the Journal Pavilion, Albuquerque, NM

—8:45 pm: Vice President Cheney holds a rally at the airport, Jackson Hole, WY

—9:00 pm: Sen. Kerry, Teresa Heinz Kerry, and Bruce Springsteen hold a Fresh Start for America rally at City Hall, Cleveland, OH

—10:45 pm: Sen. Edwards holds a Fresh Start for America rally with singer Jimmy Buffet, Pompano Beach, FL

—11:30 pm: Sen. Kerry rallies supporters upon arrival in Toledo, OH

—11:35 pm: President and Mrs. Bush hold a Victory '04 rally at SMU, Dallas, TX

The surrogates (all times ET):

—8:00 am: Sen. Norm Coleman and Gov. Tim Pawlenty kick off a 24-hour bus tour at Bush-Cheney headquarters, St. Paul, MN

—10:00 am: DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe talks about voting rights and generating voter turnout at the PA Victory '04 Hill District Headquarters, Pittsburgh, PA

—10:00 am: Kerry-Edwards campaign chairwoman Gov. Jeanne Shaheen visits the Lakes Region Democratic Headquarters, Lancoia, NH

—10:00 am: Sen. Hillary Clinton attends a seniors breakfast in Lyndhurst, NJ

—11:00 am: Kerry-Edwards advisor former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke holds a press availability and speaks at Politics and Eggs at the Bedford Village Inn, Bedford, NH

—11:00 am: Gov. Jeb Bush, Marvin Bush, Senate candidate Mel Martinez, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and Florida Republican Party chairwoman Carole Jean Jordan hold a Victory 2004 rally at the Embassy Suites, Orlando, FL

—11:00 am: Former Vice President and Tipper Gore visit the Kerry-Edwards campaign headquarters, Janesville, WI

—11:00 am: Sen. Hillary Clinton attends a Bergen County Women's Leadership "Meet and Greet," Rutherford, NJ

—11:30 am: Former President H.W. Bush holds a rally with veterans in support of his son at the Rock Garden Supper Club, Green Bay, WI

—11:30 am: Jenna and Barbara Bush visit the Bush-Cheney campaign headquarters, La Crosse, WI

—11:30 am: Gov. Shaheen and Cate Edwards visit Parkside Middle School, Manchester, NH

—11:30 am: Bush-Cheney chief strategist Matthew Dowd hosts a webchat at

—11:45 am: Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack and Sen. Tom Harkin's "Every Vote Matters" bus tour stops at the Pottawattamie County Democratic headquarters, Council Bluffs, IA

—12:00 pm: Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean holds a Fresh Start for America rally at Dartmouth, Hanover, NH

—12:00 pm: Sen. H illary Clinton attends a GOTV rally in Hackensack, NJ

—12:15 pm: Al and Tipper Gore visit the Kerry-Edwards campaign headquarters, Beloit, WI

—12:30 pm: Sen. Zell Miller holds a Victory 2004 rally at the Lee County Republican headquarters, Ft. Myers, FL

—12:45 pm: Gen. Clark holds a rally on behalf of the Kerry-Edwards ticket at the airport, Hobbs, NM

—1:00 pm: Gov. Bush, Marvin Bush, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite and chairwoman Jordan hold a Victory 2004 rally at the Hernando Republican party headquarters, Brooksville, FL

—1:00 pm: Gov. Shaheen and Cate Edwards visit the University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

—2:00 pm: Gov. Vilsack and Sen. Harkin's "Every Vote Matters" bus tour stops at the Firehouse Brewery, Red Oak, IA

—2:20 pm: Al and Tipper Gore visit the UAW, Kenosha, WI

—2:25 pm: Mayor Guiliani and Clearwater Mayer Pam Corbino hold a Victory 2004 rally at The Gazebo, Clearwater, FL

—2:30 pm: Gov. Dean holds a Fresh Start for America rally at Plymouth State University, Plymouth, NH

—3:00 pm: Gov. Bush, Marvin Bush, Mel Martinez, and others hold a Victory 2004 rally at the Panama City headquarters, Panama City, FL

—3:00 pm: Michael Moore appears with the League of Conservation Voters, Orlando, FL

—3:00 pm: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Sen. Harry Reid, and Rep. Shelley Berkley participate in a "Farewell Tour" Packing Party at the Painter's Union, Las Vegas, NV

—3:30 pm: Sen. Miller holds a Victory 2004 rally at the Escambia County Republican headquarters, Pensacola, FL

—3:30 pm: Gov. Shaheen and Cate Edwards visit the GOTV staging location at the Meadowbrook Inn, Portsmouth, NH

—3:45 pm: Gen. Wesley Clark and Sen. Jeff Bingaman visit the Kerry-Edwards campaign headquarters, Albuquerque, NM —4:00 pm: Al and Tipper Gore visit the UAW, Racine, WI

—4:00 pm: Rob Reiner and Gov. Bill Richardson hold a rally on behalf of the Kerry-Edwards ticket at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center, Santa Fe, NM

—4:00 pm: Jim Rassmann and Wade Sanders hold a rally on behalf of the kerry-Edwards ticket at the Mesa County Democratic Headquarters, Grand Juntion, CO

—5:00 pm: Senate candidate Mel Martinez, former Mayor Giuliani, and U.S. Rep. Mark Foley hold a Victory 2004 rally at the Charlotte Cultural Center, Port Charlotte, FL

—5:00 pm: Chairman McAuliffe visits the GOTV staging location at the IBEW local, Concord, NH

—5:15 pm: Gov. Bush, Marvin Bush, and chairwoman Carole Jean Jordan hold a Victory 2004 rally at the Duval County Republican headquarters, Jacksonville, FL

—5:30 pm: Gov. Vilsack and Sen. Harkin's "Every Vote Matters" bus tour stops at the Steelworkers Hall, Des Moines, IA

—6:00 pm: BC04 general counsel Tom Josefiak hosts a Web chat at

—6:15 pm: Chairman McAuliffe visits the GOTV staging location, Nashua, NH

—7:30 pm: Senate candidate Mel Martinez and mayor Giuliani hold a Victory 2004 rally at the Old School Square Amphitheater, Delray Beach, FL

—8:00 pm: Gov. Bush, chairwoman Jordan, and Rep. Pat Patterson hold a Victory 2004 rally at the Embry-Riddle Student Center, Daytona Beach, FL

—8:00 pm: Michael Moore, Roseanne Barr, and the Goo Goo Dolls appear at Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL

—8:00 pm: Gov. Dean holds a Fresh Start for America rally at Keene State College, Keene, NH