3rd Year Week 4 MT04

Topic: US election

5:32am (UK)
Strategic Adjustments for US Election End-Game

US President George Bush appealed yesterday for support from Democrats whose “dreams and goals are not found in the far left wing” of their own party in a late-campaign appeal for crossover votes.

Senator John Kerry said that when it comes to Iraq, the man in the White House “doesn’t get it, and he can’t fix it.”

Bush has made a habit of “dodging and bobbing and weaving” when it comes to tons of missing explosives outside Baghdad, added the four-term Massachusetts senator, and Vice President Dick Cheney “is becoming the Chief Minister of Disinformation.”

The president accused his rival of “wild charges” unbecoming a man with ambitions for the Oval Office.

Six days before the election, the president and his Democratic challenger appeared before large late-October crowds as their aides and outside groups made strategic adjustments for the campaign’s end-game.

Bush’s high command put extra money into television commercials in Portland, Maine – a bid to claim victory in next-door New Hampshire, where recent polls show Kerry the narrow leader.

The challenger, as well as groups supporting him, stepped up efforts in Hawaii, customarily a safe Democratic state, but too close for Kerry’s comfort in recent surveys.

With polls reporting a high level of interest in the race for the White House, an Associated Press-Ipsos survey showed 11% of voters had already marked ballots in 32 states that permit early voting, and another 11% said they intended to do so.

“Lots of folks have made up their minds, and they figure that if they send in their ballots, the campaigns will stop pestering them,” said Snohomish County Auditor Bob Terwilliger in Washington.

Yet there were problems as millions tried to beat the Election Day rush, and thousands of lawyers were primed to catch them.

Officials in Florida’s Broward County said up to 58,000 absentee ballots may not have reached voters who requested them more than two weeks ago.