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President Bush Fires Back on Explosives Charge; Early Voting Surge; Politics and Religion

Aired October 27, 2004 - 15:00   ET


GEORGE W. BUSH (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Now the senator is making wild charges about missing explosives.

ANNOUNCER: President Bush fires back on an explosive issue, as Senator Kerry sharpens his attack.

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: What we're seeing is a White House that is dodging and bobbing and weaving in their usual efforts to avoid responsibility.

ANNOUNCER: Early-bird specials. Why are so many Americans rushing to vote before Election Day?

Looking to a higher power. We'll show you how evangelicals are singing the president's praises, while black churches preach to the choir about Kerry.

Governor Schwarzenegger prepares for a Bush campaign cameo, but is he doing himself any favors back home?


Now, live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.

JUDY WOODRUFF, HOST: Thank you for joining us back in Washington this day.

The Bush campaign apparently has decided that the president should talk about missing explosives in Iraq after all. He brought up the subject on the campaign trail today to fuel his charge that John Kerry jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts.

Our White House correspondent Dana Bash is traveling with the president.


DANA BASH, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): After ignoring reporters' questions a day earlier about missing Iraq explosives, the president finally responded.

BUSH: Our military is now investigating a number of possible scenarios including, that the explosives may have been moved before our troops even arrived at the site. BASH: Under growing pressure, Mr. Bush abandoned past practice of ignoring his opponent's attack, saying John Kerry's -- quote -- "wild charges" the president's to blame for explosives gone missing are based on fuzzy facts.

BUSH: This investigation is important and it's ongoing, and a political candidate who jumps to conclusions without knowing the facts is not a person you want as your commander in chief.

BASH: Bush aides insist the president is not back on his heels. They spin this unusually stark defense as offense and calling Senator Kerry someone who will say anything to get elected works to their advantage, but Kerry aides say they scored a win by forcing the president to explain and defend the situation in Iraq six days before the election.

Bush officials still claim talking about national security benefits them.

BUSH: If you are a Democrat who wants America to lead with strength and idealism, I would be honored to have your vote.

BASH: Security is one of the issues the president used to appeal to conservatives Democrats in rural Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. With Zell Miller at his side, Mr. Bush is trying to win this state and Ohio with a straightforward pitch. From education to abortion to gay marriage, the president said he's more in line with the values of rural Democrats than John Kerry.

BUSH: My opponent is running away from some of the great traditions of the Democratic Party.

BASH (on camera): The president courts the Democrats tour ends in Detroit. Michigan is a state where John Kerry is doing well, but Bush aides insist they're doing better and they want make the Kerry campaign work for it.

Dana Bash, CNN, Vienna, Ohio.


WOODRUFF: The president's counterattack does not seem to be discouraging Senator Kerry from playing up the missing explosives story.

CNN's Frank Buckley is traveling with the Democratic nominee -- hi, Frank.


The Kerry campaign talking about this issue for the third straight day. Just talked to an adviser who said that they believe that this is an area of great vulnerability for President Bush, given the fact that he's run on the idea that he would be the stronger commander in chief. Senator Kerry talked about that this morning in Sioux City, Iowa. He talked about it once again here at this rally in Rochester, Minnesota. Senator Kerry saying that the president had failed to make America safe in the war on terror, that he failed to protect the troops in Iraq by not securing those powerful explosives in Iraq, and then John Kerry spoke directly to President Bush at this rally here in Rochester.


KERRY: And I say this to the president.

Mr. President, for the sake of our brave men and women in uniform, for the sake of those troops who are in danger, because of your wrong decisions, you owe America real answers about what happened, not just political attacks.


BUCKLEY: And Senator Kerry's description of the men and women in Iraq as brave, no accident. The Kerry campaign very aware of the criticisms coming from President Bush suggesting that Senator Kerry is somehow denigrating the efforts of the troops on the ground.

As part of the effort to make sure that's not how this comes across, they went up with one ad today on cable in battleground states called heroes. That ad again an attempt to make it clear that Kerry is criticizing the commander in chief, not the troops.

And also, senior adviser Joe Lockhart issued a statement very soon after that comment from President Bush, Joe Lockhart saying for a commander in chief to sidestep these important questions and to somehow imply that John Kerry does anything less than fully support our troops is beneath contempt.

So, this was topic No. 1 here in Rochester. It was also topic No. 1 early today in Sioux City, Iowa. Senator Kerry returns to Iowa, this time to the Cedar Rapids area, after leaving here from Rochester, an indication of how tight Iowa appears to be. And we have some more evidence of that in the new CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup poll that was released last night, Judy.

It shows the vote of unlikely voters 50 to 46 for President Bush, 47-48 among registered voters. This, as you know, was a Gore state barely in 2000 by just about 4,100 votes. Senator Kerry's visit back again to Iowa, the second in the same day, an indication of how much they want to hold on to Iowa and how much effort they're putting into that state -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, Frank Buckley traveling with John Kerry -- Frank, thank you very much.

Well, the Kerry camp has released yet another new ad in which Kerry talks directly about those missing explosives in Iraq and what he calls the president's misjudgment. And the Bush camp is launching what is said to be its final campaign ad. It shows the president talking about the challenges of the past four years and promising to do "whatever it takes" -- quote, end quote -- to defend America.

Kerry and Bush are holding steady in our national poll of polls, with no movement to report today in individual surveys. Bush still has 49 percent to Kerry's 47 percent, based on an average of the latest crop of polls. For several days now, the poll of polls has been relatively consistent, showing a close Bush-Kerry race.

Well, DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe and RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie are among those keeping, as you would expect, a close eye on all the polls. I spoke with them just a short time ago and started by asking McAuliffe to explain why Bush appears to have gained a little ground in Ohio and Florida, while Kerry is being forced to defend himself in blue states such as Hawaii.


TERRY MCAULIFFE, DNC CHAIRMAN: I can tell you, if you look at the tracking polls out today, we're up in Ohio. We have our tracks up in Florida. We're going to win both Florida. We're going to win Ohio. We're going to win Pennsylvania. We're not concerned obviously about Michigan. That's a great Democratic state, but we do have six days to go.

I am so happy that we have all of the resources that we need out in those states. We have volunteers like we've never seen before. We're knocking on doors. We're making the phone calls. John Kerry is out making the closing arguments that he would make this world safer and he would do a better job here at home creating jobs, fixing health care and education.

So, I can tell you the momentum is clearly on our side, but you know what? But you know what? We have six long days to go and we got to make sure we do what we need to do to everybody to...


WOODRUFF: Terry McAuliffe, quickly, what about Hawaii and Michigan?

MCAULIFFE: Well, clearly, you win Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, we're in very good shape. We're going to win Hawaii. It is a great, always has been a great Democratic state in the presidential election.

And in Michigan, we're going to win Michigan. Listen, Judy, these polls, you look at our tracking polls, we're up in all these states. We feel comfortable about where we are. George Bush is having to defend Florida, Ohio.


WOODRUFF: Ed Gillespie.



WOODRUFF: Ed Gillespie, you've got a different take on this. But what's going on for the president? Now he's having to defend, what is it, Arkansas and West Virginia?

GILLESPIE: Well, I'm not so sure about that, Judy. I've seen reports of that, but the fact is that the Kerry campaign long ago pulled out of Arkansas and recently pulled out of West Virginia because they saw what was going on, on the ground there.

And I should point out, by the way, that not only are Michigan and Hawaii very much competitive for us, but New Jersey, again, a poll out today, 46-46 in New Jersey. This is a battleground that is increasingly being fought on -- in states that were won by Al Gore in 2000. You saw senator Kerry was in Wisconsin and Iowa again today -- I think he was in both today, but certainly in the past two days.

And those are states that Al Gore won in 2000. We are seeing Florida and Ohio firming up, trending President Bush's way, and being very competitive in Pennsylvania, which Al Gore won as well, and New Mexico, where a poll had the president up recently. So, the -- it is six days to go. It is a close contest, as we said. But as we are in this homestretch now, there is a breeze at the back of the president going into the final days of this campaign.

WOODRUFF: Terry McAuliffe, the president has a new ad out. We're told he's looking straight at the camera. This is a national ad buy. And he's saying he will never relent in defending America. It's apparently a very effective appeal on the part of the president.

Are you concerned about this kind of strong push by the president in the last days of this election?

MCAULIFFE: No, we're not concerned at all, because, you know, John Kerry has been looking into the camera this entire campaign talking about those critical issues as it relates to Iraq and health care, education and job creation. I mean, that's what John Kerry's campaign is all about.

This campaign is about hope vs. fear. The Republicans have run a very negative campaign. They have tried to scare people for the last year and George Bush is going to end his campaign once again trying to scare Americans. John Kerry has been offering hope through his entire campaign and that's what he's been talking about. And he's always looked in the camera and he's telling that people that hope is on the way and it's going to be a better America and a safer America.


GILLESPIE: The president's ad is a very positive ad. It highlights his policies to continue to grow our economy, to continue to provide strong leadership in winning the war on terror.

The fact is that it's the Kerry campaign that's engaged in scare tactics here, trying to convince senior citizens that the president is going to ruin Social Security and privatize it, trying to convince younger voters that the president is going to draft them if he gets reelected, trying to convince African-Americans that the president and his party are trying to suppress the African-American vote, intimidate voters, trying to convince blue-collar workers that we're going to deny them overtime pay.

It is the worst kind of politics of fear. And it is sad see, but it is an indication of where their campaign is today, as they're trailing in the national polls and in the battlegrounds going into the homestretch. That's the kind of things they resort to.


WOODRUFF: Very quickly, Ed Gillespie, a new Pew poll finding evangelical Christian, 68 percent of them say they are going to vote for George Bush, but that's down from, what, over 80 percent that you got in the election. And you said you were going to improve on that. Some of these voters telling reporters they're upset about the president's policies in Iraq and the economy. Is this a worry for you?

GILLESPIE: It's not a worry.

I have no doubt that evangelical voters are going to support the president in high percentages. And look, these polls, the reason I cite the average of 2.8 percent of all of the polls, you've got to average them out. And that's about the average for the past 10 days of all of the national polls. There are going to be variables and sways in each of these polls, but when you take them all as a whole, you see that you get a pretty good picture.

And when you take them as a whole, you see that the president's support amongst those people of faith, amongst core Republicans continues to be strong, above 90 percent. Senator Kerry is lagging with Democrats. That's why you President Clinton on the trail. That's why you see him trying to energize African-American voters, trying to energize...


MCAULIFFE: Listen, we're glad to have President Clinton out there reminding everybody of 22 million new jobs created.

Listen, if Republicans want to have Gerald Ford and former President Bush, they ought to go out and do it. But when they see Bill Clinton out on the campaign trail, it reminds people of the greatest economic prosperity in the history of our country, 22 million new jobs created, record surpluses, fully funded on education, 100,000 cops on the streets. Those are the days that Americans want back again. And you're going to get it with John Kerry.


WOODRUFF: Terry McAuliffe and Ed Gillespie going at it just a short time ago.

Well, early voting appears to be all the rage this election year. Is it more of a help or a hassle? We'll look at the phenomenon and the fallout.

Also ahead, the singles scene. Do unmarried men and women see the presidential race differently from those who have tied the knot?

And a frightening encounter for Congresswoman and Florida election standoff figure Katherine Harris.

With six days until the election, this is INSIDE POLITICS, the place for campaign news.


WOODRUFF: A Florida man has been arrested on an aggravated assault charge after police say he tried to run over Congresswoman Katherine Harris and a group of her supporters. Witnesses say the man sped through an intersection and on to a sidewalk in Sarasota, Florida, where Harris and others were standing. The driver swerved at the last minute, the witnesses say. No one was injured.

The driver is identified as 46-year-old Barry Seltzer. He told police that Harris and her group were slowing traffic and, in his words -- quote -- "I was exercising my political expression." Harris of course is best known for her role in the 2000 recount as Florida's secretary of state.

INSIDE POLITICS will be right back.


WOODRUFF: We have an update now on ballot irregularities and legal challenges heading into Election Day. In Florida, Broward County election officials say they cannot account for almost 60,000 absentee ballots mailed to voters. The county is blaming the Postal Service. The Post Office denies responsibility. Election officials now are scrambling to field complaints from voters who say they never received their absentee ballots.

In the courts, a New Jersey Superior Court judge has rejected a challenge to the state's electronic voting machines, clearing the way for their use next week.

In Michigan, a federal appeals court say provisional ballots cast outside the precinct where a voter lives cannot be counted. In Iowa, Republicans are suing the secretary of state after he said provisional ballots in federal races could be counted if they were cast in the wrong precinct, but in the correct county.

And in Ohio, Democrats are suing a federal court to block GOP challenges to 35,000 voter registration.

Well, we are still six days away from the election, but tens of thousands of Americans have already marked their ballots. Early voting is a growing trend in the United States? What makes it so appealing and why is it so popular this year?

Some answers now from CNN's Bruce Morton. (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BRUCE MORTON, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Early voting, it's up, 16 states with polling places open early, more than 30, if you include states with other ways of voting before Election Day. In Iowa, you can mail in your ballot even before the first debate. Or take Nevada. Just under 600,000 people voted in the year 2000. How many early voters in time, 100,000? No.

DEAN HELLER, NEVADA SECRETARY OF STATE: It's closer to 200,000 right now people who have already cast their votes.

MORTON: A slight edge for Democrats?

HELLER: Just a slight edge, yes. And I think that's going to determine who will win this state. It's down to the line. The polls are so close, I think whoever turns out their voters is going to win this state.

MORTON: Florida has registered 1.6 million new voters since 2000. They have early voting. Last time, 14 percent of voters nationally voted early or absentee. This time, 19 percent told a poll they would. Is that because of the unusual interest in the presidential race this year?

DOUG CHAPIN, ELECTIONONLINE.ORG: I think the interest -- the increased interest in early voting is partly a result of the interest in this election. In many places, we have new voting technology, touch-screen machines or -- touch-screen machines or unfamiliar technology, and some voters want a little extra time with that. Other voters don't trust the technology and want to cast a paper ballot, rather than use that machine on Election Day.

MORTON: Problems? Sure. Florida voters have griped about slow machines, long lines. Some remember the 245 votes electronically lost in Tampa in the September primary.

CHAPIN: We may be headed to the courts. I think a lot of that will depend on how close the election is in certain states. We're in an era right now where everyone believes that a tiny number of votes can have a huge impact on the outcome. And so, anything they can do to sway that few number of votes or protect that few number of votes through litigation is something they're going to be willing to do.

MORTON: And that's probably true whether the votes are cast early or the old-fashioned way next Tuesday.

Bruce Morton, CNN, Washington.


WOODRUFF: Hawaii is not supposed to be a presidential battleground, but recent polls say otherwise. We'll have the latest on the first campaign ad to hit the Aloha State.

Also, another potential worry on Election Day. Will there be enough poll workers?


WOODRUFF: Checking the Wednesday headlines in our "Campaign News Daily," recent polls showing a neck-and-neck race in normally Democratic-leaning Hawaii have prompted Democrats to launch a round of TV ads. The Democratic National Committee has purchased $200,000 in ad time on local TV in Hawaii to run the first presidential campaign ad in that state this year. Hawaii has four electoral votes, the same as battlegrounds Maine and New Hampshire.

Today, by the way, "The Honolulu Star-Bulletin" endorsed John Kerry.

With another close election looming in Florida, Governor Jeb Bush has decided to recuse himself from the state's Election Canvassing Commission. The decision marks a reversal for the governor, who said he decided to step aside to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. Governor Bush will be replaced on the commission by a fellow Republican, the state agriculture secretary.

Add a shortage of poll workers to the potential problems that could trip up voters when they head to the polls on Tuesday. The Federal Election Assistance Commission estimates the nation's polling precincts will be about a half-a-million workers short of what is needed to run a national election. The commission says the problem is compounded by the fact that voting machines and election laws are becoming more complex and the average age of poll workers is 72.

We'll see how we resolve that problem.

Political preaching next. We'll tell you how both the Bush and Kerry camps are working to rally the faithful and drive religious voters to the polls.

Plus, Arnold Schwarzenegger says he'll campaign with President Bush in Ohio this Friday, but will that hurt the Golden State governor with some voters back in California?

We'll take a look when INSIDE POLITICS returns.


WOODRUFF: President Bush speaks out on an important issue in this campaign and makes a bid for Democratic support as he campaigns in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. Senator Kerry keeps firing away over the missing Iraqi explosives and makes a pitch for rural voters as he swings through Iowa and Minnesota.

Welcome back to INSIDE POLITICS. I'm Judy Woodruff in Washington this Wednesday.

Republican strategists have made no secret of their hopes to increase turnout among conservatives on Election Day, especially Christian conservatives. And Democrats are working hard to make sure they don't abandon the religious vote to the GOP. It is a political battle playing out all over the country, including in the nation's heartland.


(voice-over): He struts like a rock star, he sings like a rock star, but he doesn't sing like a rock star at all.

JASON ROY, LEAD SINGER, BUILDING 429: Every one of us, we're such idiots, but for the grace of god.

WOODRUFF: Jason Roy, lead singer of Building 429, in concert in St. Louis.

ROY: Building 429 comes from Ephesians 4:29, which says, "Let nothing unwholesome come out of your mouth except that which is helpful for building others up

WOODRUFF: The band's mission over the next week, getting young evangelical Christians to clue into the world around them...

ROY: The bible is getting taken out of our schools. It's getting taken out of our children's lives.

WOODRUFF: ... and turn their faith into action on Election Day.

ROY: Brothers and sisters, let's unite this year. Let's go out and redeem the vote. Let's redeem this country. Are you with me?


WOODRUFF: Building 429 is one of 35 Christian music groups behind Redeem the Vote, a project designed to light the path from the bible to the ballot. Registering, they say, 70,000 new voters since August. Planning more than 15 concerts in the next week, hitting the top three battlegrounds, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. Their motto?

DARCY SUNDERLAND, MISSOURI VOTER: I think the Christians are going to come out. I do. I think the Christians are really going to come out. That's what we've heard from all of our friends. I really truly believe they're going to come out and vote. I really do.

WOODRUFF: In the final week, evangelical groups are papering churches with voter guides and urging pastors to preach a gospel of activism this Sunday. Their values are clear.

ED MILLER, MISSOURI VOTER: I don't like the fact that I'm paying $2 a gallon for gasoline. And I don't like the fact that my taxes are always going up. But I also don't like the fact that we're killing millions of babies every year.

WOODRUFF: And their choice is clear.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Is that want you want to hear?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's a righteous man and a Christian man. Absolutely.

WOODRUFF: The next evening in St. Louis worshipers raise their voices in song, but their faith sounds a different cord.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: In my opinion, if Jesus were walking among us on Earth today, he would be a liberal.

WOODRUFF: Like many Democrats, former Missouri Senator Jean Carnahan is alarmed by the religious activism on the right.

JEAN CARNAHAN (D), FMR. U.S. SENATOR: And one fellow summed it up this way. He says, "It frightens me to see preachers being turned into precinct captains and churches becoming cogs in the Republican Party machinery."

WOODRUFF: Democrats are now playing catch-up.

KERRY: May America always have god's blessing.

WOODRUFF: John Kerry has been talking about his faith recently. And the more he does, the more support he builds among his fellow Catholics, a key swing group. With that in mind, Democrats say they have enlisted nuns to work phone banks right up to November 2.

REV. DAVID KEYES, KERRY CAMPAIGN: For example, we'll call and say, "This is sister Mary Margaret, and I'm calling for John Kerry." So, they have lists of Roman Catholic voters, and that's what they're doing in several states actually.

WOODRUFF: Particularly Michigan, a key battleground with a large Catholic population. Of course, black churches remain Democratic strongholds. Pastors rarely bothering to conceal their preference.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And what happened in 2000 will not happen in 2004.

WOODRUFF: The Kerry campaign has dispatched armies of surrogates into African-Americans sanctuaries to energize a traditional base.

AL GORE, FMR. VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Where there's no vision people shall perish.

WOODRUFF: And so, this week the faithful on both sides sing out.


WOODRUFF: Turning hymns into anthems and anthems into votes.


(on camera): And our thanks to producer Claire Renberg (ph).

Later this week, we take a look at how the two parties are trying to energize and attract young people to the polls.

Checking some of the latest state polls in the presidential race. In the battle for Michigan, a new "Detroit Free Press" tracking poll gives John Kerry 45 percent and President Bush 44 percent. Ralph Nader is at 1 percent.

In Iowa, the latest CNN/"USA Today"/Gallup survey finds Bush and Kerry just one point apart among registered votes, but among those likely to cast ballots Bush is ahead by four points. Next door in Missouri, two polls reaching similar results. A Research 2000 survey shows Bush ahead buy three points, 48 to 45. A Missouri poll by the Market Research Institute finds a four-point lead for Bush, 49 percent to 45 percent.

And finally, there's New Jersey, the state that Bush lost by double digits in 2000. A new Quinnipiac poll finds a dead heat, 46 percent for both Bush and Kerry. Ralph Nader taking 2 percent.

Well, two journalists joining me now to talk about the presidential in two more critical battleground states. Tom Fiedler is the executive editor of "The Miami Herald." He is in Miami. Ricardo Pimentel is an editorial page editor of the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel," and he joins us from Milwaukee.

Let me turn to you first, Tom Fiedler. We had to do in Florida what we do with the national polls, and that is a poll of polls because there have been so many of them. And right now they are showing almost a dead heat. George Bush, 47, John Kerry 46. What do you see going on in your state?

TOM FIEDLER, "MIAMI HERALD": Yes. Actually, the two most recent polls that have come out, the Mason-Dixon poll, which was less than a week ago, and then the "Miami Herald-St. Petersburg Times" poll which we had on Sunday, they actually -- you could split the difference in there within one point of each other, and both of them are really well within the margin of error there, 48-46, 47-46.

As so many people have been pointing out, we're really in the turnout territory. The polls at this point are just tossups.

WOODRUFF: And Ricardo Pimentel, let me show our viewers what we see in the Wisconsin poll done October 15 through 18. Let's make sure we -- we've got, George Bush at 51 to John Kerry 43 among likely voters, 50 to 44 among registered voters. What are you seeing?

RICARDO PIMENTEL, "MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL": Well, it depends which poll you ask. The Humphrey poll had a 48-47 Bush race, and Knight-Ridder-MSNBC had a tie at 45 percent. So, it's pretty close in Wisconsin.

WOODRUFF: And what does that -- what does that say to you, that we're seeing all of the different poll results? Without having to analyze the polls, what do you feel is going on, Ricardo?

PIMENTEL: I think both sides are doing -- making strenuous efforts to get their side out. There are swing voters scattered throughout the state. They're making efforts to get those as well. They're hitting the topics that they think Wisconsinites want to hear. WOODRUFF: And Tom Fiedler, back to you in Florida. You said it's down to turnout. So, how are these can at getting their voters out? What is making a difference?

FIEDLER: Yes. In fact, what's interesting here in Florida, as well as in other states, is that we are already in the turnout phase. We've had early voting going on now from a week ago Monday.

So -- and what we have seen so far is, in my county, in Miami- Dade County, about 100,000 people have already voted. That's 10 percent of the total. And neighboring Broward County is about 75,000. So, we're looking at a very heavy early turnout. If that's indicative of -- of a heavy turnout overall, that will tend to -- again, this is the conventional wisdom -- tend to favor Democrats.

We're in new territory. We haven't done this before. But already, this election is appearing to be down to this turnout phase.

WOODRUFF: Ricardo Pimentel, you said the candidates are talking about the topics, the subjects that will pull out their voters. Give us some examples of that on both sides.

PIMENTEL: Well, jobs, of course. Wisconsin is second only to Indiana in the number of manufacturing jobs in the country. But we've had a net loss of jobs.

We've fared better in the economy than most in the Midwest, but still there's a bit of angst about jobs. Health care ranks high as a concern here. And then all of the other issues that are resonating throughout the country as well.

WOODRUFF: So -- but which candidate is -- I mean, one would think to listen to you that that would work against the president for John Kerry. How is it playing?

PIMENTEL: Well, it depends which voters you're talking to. Some voters will give Bush the benefit of the doubt because of job gains in the last year, and others will look at that net loss figure for the entire term.

There is a rich tradition of blue collar work here. And folks remember blue collar towns and things as they used to be. That will work against President Bush.

WOODRUFF: Tom Fiedler, back to you. If the Democrats are looking strong because of this high early voter turnout down in Miami- Dade, what are the Republicans going to be doing to counter that?

FIEDLER: Well, it appears they have a good get-out-the-vote operation also. And -- but they're also gearing up, it appears, for Election Day challenges. There have been some allegations coming out, particularly out of the Jacksonville area, where African-American vote could be critical in the election. That the Republicans are preparing lists of voters that they think may have been fraudulently registered and they would use a provision of Florida law to challenge these voters when they show up on Election Day. Of course, that would be a negative attack. They are not admitting that they're preparing this. But traditionally the Republican get-out-the-vote operation on Election Day is first rate.

Also, the absentee ballot programs that Republicans have run in the past have swung elections, particularly with overseas and military voters. That again could be a factor in a very close race.

WOODRUFF: Well, we sure paid attention to that in 2000...


WOODRUFF: ... when the counting continued after Election Day. And you know we're going to be watching it this time.

FIEDLER: A long time.

WOODRUFF: Tom Fiedler, thank you very much with "The Miami Herald."

FIEDLER: You're welcome, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Ricardo Pimentel of the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel."

Thank you both. It's good to see you. We appreciate it.

Well, what should we watch for come Election Day, in addition to all this? I'm going to put that question to Jack Valenti and Bill Bennett, veterans of many elections, when they join me next on INSIDE POLITICS.

Plus, when it comes to the campaign, we've heard about the gender gap. But is there a marriage gap? Our Bill Schneider investigates.

And later, if it's Tuesday it must be Iowa or Ohio. We'll tell you about Jenna Bush's little problem with geography.


WOODRUFF: With the campaign for the Oval Office nearing an end, how will these final days play out? With me now to talk about the race, Jack Valenti, a former aide to President Lyndon Johnson and a CNN contributor, and William Bennett, former education secretary and host of the radio program "Morning in America."

Gentlemen, good to see both of you.


WOODRUFF: Bill Bennett, I want to ask both of you to do this, you and Jack Valenti. Help us put this contest in perspective. You have watched elections before this one. We are down to the wire. We've only got a little more than five and a half days to go.

What are you watching for in this election? BENNETT: Well, I'm not listening to the pundits and I'm not listening to the spinmeisters, because they don't know anything. I mean, I know we're making a lot of livings here doing that, but nobody knows how this election is going to come out. ]]

Nobody really knows because: it depends upon a lot of factors we don't know, A; B, it is razor thin; C, as Jack was saying -- I'll give the credit to him -- just before we came in, you can't poll a lot of the people who are going to be voting because they live on cell phones. That's the way they make their living.

So, I think those are three factors. But a fourth factor is, I think, for many of us, we'll be glad when it's over so we can get back to talking about the issues in a more direct way. I don't think, oddly enough, in this campaign, the issues have really been addressed the way they should have been. And that's a little disappointing.

WOODRUFF: Well, let's talk about that in a minute.

Jack Valenti, what are you watching for?

JACK VALENTI, FMR. AIDE TO PRESIDENT JOHNSON: Well, what I'm watching for -- and I, like Bill, I think two partisans slashing at each other is mindless and you don't learn anything. What I'm looking for is how each party is going to deal with Election Day, because I'm one of those, Judy, who believes this may not be a close election for the following reasons.

I think that new voters, millions of them, never before registered, in Iowa, in Missouri, other if, almost only a tiny fraction of registered voters haven't been registered. In Florida, you've got 1.5 million brand new voters, and most of them claim to be Independents.

Eighteen percent more new voters than the last election. And in Ohio and Wisconsin, big numbers of new voters. But they don't tell you what their party loyalties are. And I've seen one prediction from some fellow I recommend and respect that in the 18 to 24 class, 40 percent...

WOODRUFF: Young people.

VALENTI: ... of young people -- 40 percent of the eligible voters are registered, compared with 32 percent in the last election. What that tells me is two things.

One, how many of those new voters will vote? And how will they break for Bush or Kerry? Because if they break heavily for either one, this election will be won by five, six or seven points.

WOODRUFF: But don't you -- as you think about those new voters, Bill Bennett, you have to think about why. Why are they engaged? What has caused them to think it's important enough that they go and register and vote?

BENNETT: Well, it is important, obviously. It's frightfully important.

We are at war. If George Bush were replaced this would be the first time in my knowledge in American history a president during a war was replaced. If John Kerry is elected, he will have to face up to the situation in Iraq.

A lot of us have been complaining, "What are your plans? What are your specifics?" We will then find out.

So, there is a big onus of responsibility on the day of Election Day. But I don't know how they will turn out, because as I go around the country -- and I still travel around the country -- opinion is very divided. The one thing that is true is it's red and blue. And it's too red and too blue. It's too balkanized.

VALENTI: Well, I'll just take in -- I think that -- I saw Lyndon Johnson voluntarily get replaced during a war. And I also thank no matter who's president, you take an oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

So, whoever is president will do his darnedest to make sure this country is defended. But I think this is the most passionate and emotional election since 1968, when Nixon faced Humphrey and it was one-half of 1 percent.

I think it's because of the hostility in the country. It's everybody is anti-something. And I find that to be discomforting. And it's most available here to you in Washington, the hostility.

WOODRUFF: A man named Charles Lewis -- I'm sure you know him -- director of the Center for Public Integrity, said -- said he has never before in American history seen this level of propaganda and distortion in the campaign ads.

BENNETT: No, that's not right. I mean, he's not 160 years old, but the campaign of 1828, Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, do you remember that one?

VALENTI: I was there.

BENNETT: That's right, you were there. Ronald Reagan would have said, "Oh, yes, that was a tough one." But I mean, that was ridiculous, talking about Jackson's wife sleeping...

WOODRUFF: So, it's not that much worse.

BENNETT: ... with another man and being a murder going on in the White House, all sorts of things. No -- oh, no, it's not the worst. But it's the one we're in and the stakes matter.

VALENTI: That's right.

WOODRUFF: But aren't we getting showered with just a whole lot more in terms of television, radio, constant ads?

BENNETT: Well, sure, there's more of us. There's more media. There's more ways to communicate with us. And I think they have found every single way to communicate with us.

VALENTI: But I'll tell you this...


BENNETT: But we will survive it provided -- at least, I hope this is true -- if the people decide this election. We will survive it. We will pick up. And I think everybody will salute the president. If the lawyers decide it, we're going to have problems.

VALENTI: I think, though, the past is always more pleasant because it isn't here. Campaigns swirl and toss. I find that -- I don't find this that bad. It's only bad because it's happening now and because multi-millions of dollars of television's been spent, and you're being bombarded with these ads day and night.

WOODRUFF: Very quickly, though, are you worried that this election may not be seen as legitimate, what Bill said...

VALENTI: I worry about that more than I do anything else. I believe if there is any kind of a roadblock to legitimacy it could have a deleterious effect in this country.

That's why I want this to be a decisive election, so there is no complaint from anybody. That whoever won, won fairly. The president, whoever he is, goes forward. And that has to happen. That really does.

WOODRUFF: You'll be interested to know both party chairs, Ed Gillespie and Terry McAuliffe, told me a little while ago they both think the election is going to break one way or another.

BENNETT: I disagree.

WOODRUFF: They disagree on which way. But that's what they think. We're going to have to leave it there.

BENNETT: OK -- good.

WOODRUFF: See both of you next week.

VALENTI: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: Bill Bennett, Jack Valenti, thanks for coming in.

BENNETT: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.

Arnold Schwarzenegger appeals to the political center on some major issues like stem cell research. But the California governor's upcoming trip to a big battleground state to campaign for President Bush could have an unfavorable effect back home. The story when we return.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) WOODRUFF: No doubt about it, Arnold Schwarzenegger has star power. And the Republican governor of California now plans to put that to use on Friday when he campaigns for President Bush in Ohio. So, will this help or hurt Schwarzenegger with supporters back home, some of them staunch Democrats?

Here's CNN's Miguel Marquez in Los Angeles.


MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): He's the popular governor of the country's most populous state, and now he's taking his show on the road, stumping for Bush in Ohio.

PROF. RAPHAEL SONENSHEIN, CAL. STATE FULLERTON: He's dipping his toes into a rather poisonous environment.

MARQUEZ: Raphael Sonenshein says Schwarzenegger gets support from Republicans, Democrats and Independents. But a high-profile trip to a battleground state days before the election could make the largely liberal California electorate think twice about its governor.

SONENSHEIN: It's like a southern Democratic governor going to Boston to campaign for Michael Dukakis in 1988.


MARQUEZ: After his prime-time speech at the Republican National Convention...

SCHWARZENEGGER: And that's why I believe in this president.

MARQUEZ: ... Schwarzenegger joked about losing more than support from one voter, his Democratically-connected wife, Maria Shriver.

SCHWARZENEGGER: Well, there was no sex for 14 days.

MARQUEZ: But some California Democrats who voted for Schwarzenegger see nothing to laugh about in his support of Bush.

(on camera): Schwarzenegger stumping for Bush?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It bothers me. It bothers me.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Schwarzenegger is popular because he appeals to the political center, says California pollster Mark DiCamillo.

MARK DICAMILLO, DIRECTOR, FIELD POLL: He's got the perfect kind of job performance rating because it's spread out among most of the major subgroups of the state.

MARQUEZ: With Schwarzenegger's approval ratings consistently high and the president's consistently low in the Golden State, what makes the difference for California voters is the governor's stand on social issues, like stem cell research. Schwarzenegger supports it and is campaigning to promote it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Well, he's not aligned with Bush on a lot of major issues, which is -- I'm glad.

MARQUEZ (voice-over): Schwarzenegger's office has only said the governor will take part in an event in Columbus, Ohio, on Friday afternoon. All other details are up to the Bush campaign. This from a film star turned governor who has shown he likes control of every project he undertakes.

Miguel Marquez, CNN, Los Angeles.


WOODRUFF: George Bush and John Kerry are delivering closing arguments to voters, and so are some of their top guns. Ahead, White House communications director Dan Bartlett versus Kerry campaign senior adviser Joe Lockhart.

And another day, another blur of campaign stops. It's an update of a veteran politician confused, let alone a newcomer.


WOODRUFF: It's just about 4:00 on the East Coast as the markets get set to close on Wall Street. I'm joined by Lou Dobbs in New York for "The Dobbs Report."

Hi, Lou.


And today a rally on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrials rallying for a second straight day, coming back to near the 10000 level. The Dow up right now 113, up just now to 114, just over 10002.

The Nasdaq composite has risen 2 percent on the day. Oil prices declining today, losing almost $3, settling at $52.46 a barrel, the biggest one-day drop in more than four years. That because of a government report which showed a bigger than expected increase in crude oil inventories. However, home heating oil supplies continue to shrink.

The economy is picking up, at least according to the Federal Reserve's Beige Book. Consumer spending did slow but overall the Beige Book showing economic growth continuing in all regions of the country. And as our economy is improving, rents for prime real estate are soaring. Fifth Avenue, just a few blocks here in New York behind me, is home to the world's most expensive land. According to a new survey by Cushman & Wakefield rents rising 12 percent. $950 a square foot a year is the rent on the property you're looking at.

As we've been reporting extensively here, outsourcing in the nation is on the rise. A new study by Price Waterhouse Coopers finds nearly half of all the executives who have outsourced say it saved their company money, but only a third see any limited benefit to the practice. Three-quarters of U.S. and European multi-national companies are now outsourcing their financial functions. And 29 percent of them expect to increase the amount of outsourcing over the next two years.

Coming up tonight on CNN at 6:00 p.m. Eastern on "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT," both presidential candidates have controversial proposals on the table to give amnesty to illegal aliens. Now a new study just out will surely add to the debate. And we'll be reporting on this new study. It finds states with the largest influx of immigrants legal and illegal saw the biggest job losses for their native population. And in the past four years, native-born workers have taken the brunt of all job cuts nationally while the number of immigrants holding jobs has risen. We'll have that special report tonight on "LOU DOBBS TONIGHT."

We'll also have extensive coverage of course of the campaign including conversations with two of the field generals in the ground battle for Ohio's 20 electoral votes. Democratic coordinator David Sullivan of Ohio, and Robert Bennett, chairman of the Ohio Republican Party.

And just days before the election, several states already dealing with voting problems, among them, Ohio. Lawsuits there alleging voter intimidation and missing absentee ballots now in Florida. 60,000 of them. We'll be taking a look at the issues already plaguing these 2004 presidential elections.

And former Reagan White House chief of staff Ken Duberstein will join me. We'll be talking about the final push before election day and billion/hedge fund manager George Soros supporting John Kerry for president. He will be my guest tonight as well.

That's it from New York. Now back to Judy Woodruff -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: Lou, I was just talking to Bill Bennett, and Jack Valenti about whether this campaign really is the worst campaign they've ever seen. A lot of people think it is. It's more bitter than any in recent memory. What's your sense of that?

DOBBS: Well, I think that may be true. The difficult thing for me in this is, in addition to the animosity and, frankly, just lack of civility, is that so many important issues, Judy, as you've documented, as we report on our broadcast, are simply are being left off the agenda for the American people to judge. Whether it be immigration, whether it be the reform of the intelligence committee as recommended by the 9/11 commission, whether it be trade policy. A host of critically important issues that neither candidate has focused on to present this case to the American people and a sense of direction for the next four years. So I can deal with the acrimony, I can't deal with the lack of discussion and debate on the real issues.

WOODRUFF: Very good point. Lou Dobbs, thank you very much.

DOBBS: Thank you, Judy.

WOODRUFF: We'll see you at 6:00 Eastern. INSIDE POLITICS continues right now.


ANNOUNCER: The marriage gap. Why do single men and women see the presidential race so much differently than husbands and wives?

Signed, sealed and delivered? Both camps are counting on newly registered voters to actually cast ballots.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The passions of pro-Bush and anti-Bush people are very high, and that's what will widen the polls.

ANNOUNCER: A state of confusion.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Iowa -- oh, gosh. I totally lost it. Ohio State University.

ANNOUNCER: A first daughter experiences a common conundrum of life on the trail.

Now live from Washington, JUDY WOODRUFF'S INSIDE POLITICS.


WOODRUFF: Welcome back. For a third day in a row, John Kerry is hammering George Bush over the disappearance of hundreds of tons of explosives in Iraq. But this time, the president is firing back. During a campaign swing through Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan Bush accused Kerry of making wild charges about the missing explosives. And of, quote, "jumping to conclusions without knowing the facts."

Kerry responded to Bush saying the president owes Americans real answers and not political attacks. Kerry is campaigning today in Iowa and Minnesota.

WOODRUFF: Anyone who ever read the "Women Are From Mars, Men From Venus" books knows that males and females often see things differently including the presidential race. But apparently for both sexes, it also matters whether you wear a wedding ring. Now our senior political analyst Bill Schneider.


WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST (voice-over): Remember the gender gap? It's still around. Women are 7 percent more for John Kerry than men, and men are ten points more for George W. Bush. Men vote Republican, women vote Democratic. We knew that. But here's something new. The gender gap has been overtaken by the marriage gap. Unmarried voters are 12 points more likely to vote for Kerry than married voters while Bush's support is 16 points higher among married voters.

The election looks like a showdown between the hitched and the unhitched. The "Sex in the City" vote? Not entirely. Unmarried people of all ages are voting for Kerry, including older widows and retirees. The Bush base is married men. Married women are split, just like in 2000. The big change has been among unmarried men. They're going for Kerry. Four years ago, unmarried men were divided. In fact, unmarried men and women are voting just about the same. No gender gap among the singles. Why the singles surge for Kerry? President Bush caters to married voters.

GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We reduced the marriage penalty. The tax code should encourage marriage, not penalize marriage.

SCHNEIDER: Unmarried voters are more likely to be living on the edge.

JOHN KERRY (D-MA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: For the last two years, I've traveled all over this country. I've listened to these stories. I've been moved by them, by the people who are struggling to make ends meet.

SCHNEIDER: Just over a third of married men think economic conditions are getting worse. Married women are split. Most unmarried men and nearly two-thirds of unmarried women say things are getting worse.

Then there's Iraq. Fewer than half of married voters say it was not worth going to war in Iraq. But over 60 percent of unmarried women and more than two-thirds of unmarried men have turned against the war. Single voters trust Kerry on Iraq.

KERRY: I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to pursue a policy that guarantees we don't have to have a draft.


SCHNEIDER: Unmarried people are more worried that Bush will bring back the draft. Getting married seems to lead people to vote more Republican. Maybe President Bush should rethink his opposition to same-sex marriage.

WOODRUFF: Because then you would have more married folks.

SCHNEIDER: Yes, you would.

WOODRUFF: Bill, very quickly, on this idea that unmarried men have moved away from George Bush. You talked about the draft, the worry about a draft, about Iraq. What else is going on there?

SCHNEIDER: Jobs, jobs, jobs. Their number one concern, according to our poll, is the economy. These are people who don't have the security, you know, marriage is a form of economic security, for men as well as women. Because most marriages today, many marriages, I think most, involve two incomes. That gives you some financial security. So unmarried men, just like unmarried women, have a financial insecurity problem. And any voter who feels economically vulnerable is drawn to the Democrats.

WOODRUFF: Because when that one job goes down, that's all you've got if you're a single person. SCHNEIDER: That's exactly right.

WOODRUFF: Bill Schneider, thank you very much. Very interesting numbers.

Bush and Kerry are battling, as we know, for every vote six days before the election. Up next I'll talk with two of their high-profile allies Dan Bartlett from the White House and Joe Lockhart from the Kerry camp.

Also ahead, getting prospective voters to register is one thing. Getting them to the polls is another. We'll consider the turnout in "Wild Card."

And we'll catch up with the Bush twins and their dizzying campaign schedule.


WOODRUFF: And as President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry near the end of the campaign trail, they are still fighting it out over some issues that have defined this race all along. Among them, Iraq.

With me now, White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett and Joe Lockhart, a senior adviser with the Kerry campaign.

Dan Bartlett, let me first ask you about the comment by the Iraqi prime minister, Mr. Allawi, who was accusing the U.S. Government, the U.S. Military of gross negligence in the deaths of those 54, 55 Iraqi police this week. In other words, he's saying the president, his administration, bore some responsibility. My question to you is does it?

DAN BARTLETT, WHITE HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS DIR.: Judy, as you know, the coalition forces, the multinational forces, are working on the ground with the new Iraqi government to do everything we can to go after these terrorists on the ground. And by the demonstration of this vile and cruel attack and massacre of these Iraqi soldiers demonstrates the challenge we have in facing these terrorists there in Baghdad and around the surrounding areas.

And we're working closely with the prime minister's office. My understanding is there's been some clarification of those remarks. He recognizes -- Prime Minister Allawi does, as does as this administration, the forces on the ground, the difficulty we have in going after these terrorists. We're working together. We're going to find them. And I think it's in clear contrast to the type of approach that Senator Kerry's offering to the American people and to the Iraqi people.

When Prime Minister Allawi was here to thank the American people and to talk about our strategy, he questioned his credibility. And I think that's not the type of leadership we need in America when we're facing such determined enemies. WOODRUFF: Joe Lockhart, the president today, in essence, said that John Kerry jumped to conclusions, read a newspaper story about these missing explosives in Iraq, and started blaming the president without the facts. He said, "We don't need a president who's going to jump to conclusions based on reading some story in the paper."

JOE LOCKHART, KERRY CAMPAIGN SR. ADVISER: Well, Judy, I mean that's kind of precisely the problem. We need a president who's going to be straight and candid with the American public. This information's been available for some time, and it's clear the president had no intention of revealing it to the American public and had no intention of talking about it, unless he was prompted by political pressure.

So, the fact that we have the president talking about this now is a plus. The problem is he's not dealing with it seriously. He launched a political attack on John Kerry rather than dealing with the real issues.

Let's just deal with what we know. There was a military -- the 101st Airborne went through this place, a place we've been warned in advance had 380 tons of explosives, and they were not told to look for them. They went right through and went to Baghdad. We don't know exactly whether they were still there, or whether they were looted later. The president's point man, Mr. Duelfer, says he thinks they were still there, but we don't know that.

But what we do know is the president is not coming forward and being straight with the public about it.

WOODRUFF: And Dan Bartlett, today you have Peter Galbraith, who was a weapons expert advising the Pentagon before the war, he's calling this a preventable disaster, saying the administration, the military should have known where these explosives were, but they didn't do enough, they didn't have enough troops to secure them.

BARTLETT: Well, the facts on the ground speak otherwise to what both Joe was saying as well as that expert. The fact of the matter is is not only was the 101st Airborne there two days after the fall of Baghdad and saw no IAEA inspection tags, a week prior to that, the third ID had gone through, took enemy fire from the facility itself.

They said the gates were wide open, demonstrating that the Iraqi military forces were there on the ground. And I think after -- my understanding is that after those soldiers were taken out, the Iraqi soldiers, they went in there, stayed there for 24 hours or so before they moved on to Baghdad, saw none of the huge tonnage that we're talking about. And I think that goes to the heart of the matter.

Senator Kerry doesn't have the facts, just like he didn't have the facts in Tora Bora when he attacked the commanding -- Tommy Franks' strategy on the ground there, just like he doesn't know the facts here. When we hear him talk about him being straight and candid, that's the one thing he hasn't been on Iraq. He's changed his position about nine or 10 times. He hasn't spoken clearly about the positions. WOODRUFF: Joe Lockhart...

BARTLETT: And what he's doing, he's using these headlines...


BARTLETT: ... day in, day out without knowing the facts.

LOCKHART: Day in and day out we get a smokescreen from the White House rather than any candor. We're not making facts up here. In "The New York Times" this morning, the commander of the 101st Airborne is quoted on the record as saying, he didn't look for the -- for these weapons, because no one told him they were there.

We knew they were there as a country. We had been briefed repeatedly both at the U.N. and the Pentagon through the Atomic International Agency. It is completely disingenuous for the White House to argue that they were there for 24 hours and didn't see them when they didn't look for them. That is the kind of lack of candor that is leading many Americans to reject this president.

WOODRUFF: Let me ask Dan Bartlett about something the president said on the campaign trail yesterday. He talked about John Kerry's record "standing in opposition, not only to me, but to the great Democratic party, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy." He said, "Kerry has turned his back on pay any price and bear any burden."

Today, the daughter of President John Kennedy, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, issued a statement saying, "It's hard for me to listen to President Bush invoking my father's memory to attack John Kerry." She said, "President Kennedy inspired and united the country, so will John Kerry. President Bush is doing just the opposite."

What do you say?

BARTLETT: Well, I think that's to be expected because she's supporting John Kerry's candidacy. And that's to be expected in a political campaign. It's been a long tradition for presidents to cite past presidents. Their records are clear.

Just like Senator Kerry tries to invoke Ronald Reagan's name I think very -- with not much credibility at all. What President Bush is demonstrating is that there have been Democrats in the past, whether it be Truman or Kennedy, who stood up to the face of evil, who has shown the resolve and the comprehensive strategy required to win a war like we're in today.

And we're not seeing that type of leadership in Senator Kerry, and we are seeing it in President Bush.

WOODRUFF: Joe Lockhart, let me you to the economy. The Federal Reserve in its last snapshot of business conditions before the election today put out a report saying that economic activity in this country, all across the country, is continuing to grow. It expanded in September. It expanded in October.

My question is: Doesn't this undercut John Kerry's argument that George Bush has hurt the economy?

LOCKHART: Well, Judy, let me just say one more thing. President Kennedy did something that this president was unable to do. When things didn't go well, he stood up in front of the country and took responsibility. And that's why he was the revered leader he is, and that's why this president is sitting at a 45 percent and can't get above it.

On the economy, I'd say I looked forward to the president going to Ohio today to the town that the Treasury secretary went to and said the job loss in Ohio was a myth. He apparently slipped that one, didn't have an answer to that. There are job losses, 14,000 in Michigan last month.

So, there's economic activity, but there's been no one fighting for the middle class, no one working to create good jobs here in the U.S., kept health care costs under control. And John Kerry will do that.

WOODRUFF: Gentlemen, we're going to have to leave it there. I'd love to keep it going right up until Election Day. Hope to see you both again. Dan Bartlett, Joe Lockhart, we thank you both.

LOCKHART: Thanks, Judy.

WOODRUFF: We appreciate it.

Well, the lines are expected to be long on Election Day, especially if millions of new registered voters make it to the polls. When INSIDE POLITICS continues, Ed Henry looks at the likelihood of those potential voters showing up.


WOODRUFF: Millions of new voters have registered to vote in next week's election. All of the new names on voter rolls raise two questions, will all of those people actually vote, and which candidate is helped by higher turnout?

Our Ed Henry looks for answers to both questions.


ED HENRY, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Record numbers of new voters are being added to the rolls across the nation, sparked by intense interest in the presidential battle.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Is everyone registered to vote here?

HENRY: Allies of both President Bush and John Kerry have each spent millions to register newcomers. Democrats scored in key battlegrounds.

STEVE ROSENTHAL, AMERICA COMING TOGETHER: If everybody who has registered comes out and votes, that should be a huge boon for John Kerry. HENRY: That a big if. In an election full of unknowns, this may be the biggest wildcard of all. Will many of these new voters vote next Tuesday? Yes, says independent expert Curtis Gans. He's predicting a sharp hike in all turnout, including first-timers.

CURTIS GANS, CMTE. FOR STUDY OF AMERICAN ELECTORATE: This is the most emotional election we have had since at least 1968. The passions of pro-Bush and anti-Bush people are very high, and that's what will drive them to the polls.

HENRY: Each party claims to have signed up about 3 million new voters, and both sides are vowing to get them to show up.

ROBERT TRAYNHAM, RNC SENIOR ADVISER: We will mount an unprecedented effort between now and November 2nd to get as many people out to the polls as possible.

GANS: A close look at the battlegrounds shows the fight for new registrants is as tight as the polls. In Florida, which George W. Bush won by 537 votes, Republicans have added 462,000 voters; Democrats, 458,000. But a whopping 628,000 new registrants aren't affiliated with either party, adding a great bit of unpredictability.

In New Mexico, which Al Gore won by 366 votes, Democrats have added 37,000 voters, Republicans, 35,000. And there's 41,000 new voters with no party affiliation.


HENRY: Democrats think they've made major gains in Ohio, but that state does not include party affiliation on voter registration forms, so we will not know the real numbers until Election Day. Democrats also say that in Iowa they've registered four new Democrats for every new Republican. They say these voters will pull the lever for John Kerry if they show up -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: A lot of suspense around Election Day and whether these new people go and vote, and if they vote the way their advocates, the people who signed a lot of them up, say they will.

HENRY: Absolutely.

WOODRUFF: Ed Henry, thank you very much.

HENRY: Thank you.

WOODRUFF: Well, it remains too close to call for the Senate's top Democrat. South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle locked in a tight race with Republican challenger John Thune. In a new Mason-Dixon poll, shows Daschle with 49 percent, Thune 47 percent among likely voters. The polls have consistently shown Daschle with a slim lead throughout the campaign.

Running for president is a grueling experience that can sometimes lead to an embarrassing mistake, even by family members. An example when we come back. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

WOODRUFF: We know that a presidential campaign takes a toll on even the most seasoned politicians. So losing track of time and place is certainly understandable. It happened to President Bush's daughter Jenna as she and her twin sister Barbara stumped for their father at Ohio State University.


JENNA BUSH, DAUGHTER OF GEORGE W. BUSH: It's great to be in a room with so many people who have so much energy about reelecting my dad. And it's so great to be here at Iowa State University -- oh, Iowa, oh, gosh. Totally lost it. Ohio State University -- too many places in the last week -- Ohio State University, and to see all of this energy. Thank you all so much for working so hard on behalf of my dad.


WOODRUFF: We can all sympathize. We've all made that mistake hundreds of times. That's it for INSIDE POLITICS this Wednesday. I'm Judy Woodruff. "CROSSFIRE" starts right now.


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