Tags: Gore | plans | 30-hour | marathon | cap | campaign

Gore plans 30-hour marathon to cap campaign

Sunday, 05 November 2000 12:00 AM

Gore's trip echoes the 27-hour campaign marathon Gore and Lieberman staged over Labor Day. Just after that marathon, Gore reached his highest point in national opinion polls, leading Republican George W. Bush by as many as 10 points in some polls before dropping back during the debates to the 2- to 4-point deficit that has held reasonably steady for the last few weeks.

Apparently convinced that his West Coast vote is firming up, Gore's final sprint does not include another trip to the Northwest, where he has been unable to pull out a solid lead, in part because of voters promising to vote for Green Party nominee Ralph Nader.

While much has been made over recent weeks about the potential impact of Nader's vote impact in Washington and Oregon and the impact of those states in the presidential campaign, the race is winding up its last days east of the Mississippi. The three key battleground states are Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania, and both campaigns claim to have the lead or the momentum in each of these states. Together, their 76 electoral votes make up more than 25 percent of the total needed to elect the president.

Gore planned to leave Philadelphia Sunday afternoon for Detroit and Milwaukee before landing after midnight in Iowa. Then Monday morning, Gore will meet workers at 5:30 at a John Deere tractor plant in Waterloo, Iowa, and have coffee with volunteers working on the "get out the vote" effort in the state. At noon Gore will be in St. Louis for a rally; by 5:30 he will be back in Michigan for a union gathering in Flint; he will travel to Miami for a midnight rally and to Tampa to meet workers at 4 a.m. before flying back to Tennessee to vote in his home town of Carthage Tuesday at noon.

Gore campaign staff said Sunday that the schedule has enough flexibility built into it that it is "likely" that Gore will touch down in other cities along the way.

Bush has built his base around Texas and most of the Rocky Mountain and Southern states. Gore has built his base in the Northeast – particularly New York and New Jersey – and California.

In recent polls, Gore's lead in California has tightened to 3 percent to 5 percent, which prompted Gore to visit the state last Tuesday. Republican vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney is spending Sunday stumping in California, and the GOP has bought ads in the state for the first time in months, in hopes of coring a huge upset there – or at least forcing Gore to divert attention to the state. Gore visited California Halloween night to tape an appearance on the "Tonight Show" with Jay Leno, and to hold a raucous rally on city streets in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Westwood.

More worrisome for the Democrats has been Nader's impact on the vote in Oregon and Washington, both states Gore was expecting to carry easily. With Nader polling as much as 8 percent of the vote, Gore has been unable to sew up the states once collectively dubbed "Ecotopia" by cartoonist Tom Toles for their strong environmental bent.

Gore staff members say they are confident the vice president will carry the Northwest as Nader voters realize the importance of the race and come back to their Democratic roots.

But beyond that confidence, Oregon and Washington are of lesser importance if Gore can carry the Eastern swing states and California.

Gore's schedule emphasizes the importance of the Midwest swing states, an emphasis echoed by Republican nominee George W. Bush. Bush is visiting five cities in Florida Sunday – Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Miami, Tampa and Orlando – and on Monday he will visit Tennessee, Wisconsin, Iowa and Arkansas, four states that voted Democratic in 1992 and 1996 but that Bush believes he can sweep this year.

Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman is also planning an Eastern swing, running through Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania before returning to his home state of Connecticut to vote Tuesday. Lieberman will then travel to Nashville to join Gore and watch the election returns.

Copyright 2000 by United Press International. All rights reserved.

Race is tight. You can help Bush in last-ditch effort to get out the vote.

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Gore's trip echoes the 27-hour campaign marathon Gore and Lieberman staged over Labor Day. Just after that marathon, Gore reached his highest point in national opinion polls, leading Republican George W. Bush by as many as 10 points in some polls before dropping back...
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2000-00-05
Sunday, 05 November 2000 12:00 AM
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