The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 23, 1996 · Page 17
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 17

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 23, 1996
Page 17
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THE SALINA JOURNAL CAMPAIGN 'OB WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 1996 CB V TURNOUT Democrats concentrate on voter turnout With a big lead, Clinton supporters want people to get out and vote By RON FOURNIER The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Trying to nail down an Election Day victory, a quarter million Clinton supporters are setting up phone banks, preparing to chauffeur Democrats to the polls and even heading for playgrounds in pursuit of "soccer moms" and other women voters. Their message: Please vote. With polls showing a big lead, Democrats are fighting complacency and turning to voter turnout. The Clinton campaign, state parties and local candidates are working together to ensure that the Democratic base bothers to show up on Nov. 5. "What wakes me up every night with my stomach wrenching is voter turnout," Clinton campaign spokeswoman Ann Lewis said. A double-digit lead "is nothing if people talk to pollsters but don't vote." T DOLE CAMPAIGN The race is not over, Clinton warns every audience, and "it's your responsibility to vote." It's a time-honored tradition of both parties to spend the dwindling days of a campaign energizing core constituencies. For Republicans, that generally means religious conservatives, small businessmen and upper-income voters. For Democrats, it's minority voters and blue- collar workers. Clinton has spent surprisingly little time in big cities, but he will visit urban areas more frequently to spur his base. Mayors such as Detroit's Dennis Archer and Cleveland's Mike White are enlisted in the turnout effort. Clinton did not move sooner on the big city vote because the battle was in the suburbs for support of the group known in this year's political shorthand as "soccer moms" — women, most of them married, who tell pollsters in overwhelming numbers that they support Clinton over Bob Dole. This weekend, the president and his party T DOLE CAMPAIGN are putting on a series of events across the country designed to get women to the polls. "Until they vote, it's not enough," said Stephenie Foster, national director of women's outreach for the Clinton campaign. Democratic literature will be handed out all weekend at department stores, house parties, malls, farmers' markets and soccer fields — places organizers expect to find women. In New Mexico, rally speakers will urge women to bring 10 friends to the polls. A "Women Win '96" bus caravan will tour Oklahoma. More than 2,000 Pennsylvania woman are enlisted to walk around in Clinton-Gore T-shirts. Craig Smith, who coordinates the Clinton's state campaigns, said the women's weekend is a small piece of a get-out-the-vote strategy developed months ago. A good voter-turnout operation "can add two to three percentage points to the president's total," Smith said. "In 1992, 100 electoral votes were decided by that margin." Long ago, Smith's shop analyzed voter rolls precinct-by-precinct with an eye toward areas containing large numbers of undecided voters. In the next two weeks, state phone bank operations will poll those voters about their intentions Nov. 5. Here is what happens: • Dole voters quickly get set aside. • Undecided voters get a "persuasion package" in the mail. It is usually two or three pages of literature designed to win over their vote. A second call is made a few days later to determine whether they are now Clinton backers. • People who support Clinton or other Democrats get put on a list for special attention. On the eve of the election and on Election Day, the campaigns focus on people who identified themselves as Democratic voters or who live in precincts that are heavily Democratic. Dole says he's going to win like it or not' But even some of his supporters doubt he'll come from behind By SANDRA SOBIERAJ The Associated Press TROY, Mich. — Faced with a dwindling election calendar and gloomy polls, Bob Dole wrapped up a 10-city Midwest swing Tuesday with a defiant declaration that "I'm going, to win whether you like it or not!" As he rolled through mostly GOP strongholds, Dole told voters outside his customized bus cruiser that "We're on the road to victory." But even some of his supporters were unconvinced. "He obviously doesn't have the number of votes he needs," said Walter Bleke, a retired schoolteacher and committed Republican in the tourist hamlet of Frankenmuth. "If Frankenmuth were bigger, maybe it would make a difference — but it won't be enough will it?" Dole's turnout of several thousand in- Frankenmuth and Grand Blanc was helped by local schools, which let students out of class to attend his rallies. Clearly more energized than at earlier stops on his Michigan tour, Dole defied naysayers by likening his underdog campaign to Harry Truman's upset victory over Thomas Dewey in 1948. "I never did meet President Dewey, did you? No. I'm like Harry Truman. I'm from the Midwest and I'm plainspoken, and I'm going to win whether you like it or not!" Dole boomed. But at times this week, Dole has seemed as much interested in rallying voters around local GOP candidates as in saving his own campaign. For two days Dole campaigned with freshman Rep. Dick Chrysler, a top target for ouster by the Democrats. At a chilly morning rally in Frankenmuth, Dole also welcomed a handful of state Legislature candidates and shared his podium with Rep. Dave Camp, seeking a fourth House term in Michigan's 4th district. "He obviously doesn't have the number of votes he needs." Walter Bleke Frankenmuth, Mich., resident Despite a choked voice and runny nose, Dole told reporters Monday night that his weekend cold had been "finished" off with the help of a decongestant. And by Tuesday afternoon, he was revving up his standard campaign pitch that "I'm the most optimistic man in America." Dole's schedule for the campaign's final weeks underscored the difficulty of his mission. He planned to stump in states that would normally be considered safely Republican this late in the race — Texas, Florida, Georgia and Alabama among them. On the football field of the Grand Blanc High Bobcats, Dole gave this novel reason for his election: "We've never had a Bob in the White House. Don't you think it's time? We do have a cat in the White House — Socks — but we've never had a Bob." Michigan Gov. John Engler, who joined Dole for his two days in the state, maintained that winning was still possible. "Despite all the media coverage of the campaign we're still holding the election on November 5th. We're not calling it off," Engler said. By the time the Dole caravan rolled into Troy, the stage had been set for a renewed hit on Clinton's ethics. One man warming up the crowd likened the Democratic platform to a "manure spreader" while another roamed the half- empty field in a rubber Clinton mask and giant waffle costume. Among the handmade signs provided by the campaign was one that read "Indict Hillary." Dole seemed almost giddy in painting the Clinton White House as up for sale to the highest bidder. The Associated Press Republican candidate Bob Dole waves as he greets supporters Tuesday along a rope in Frankenmuth, Mich. Many glitches sting Dole's campaign Candidate battles his hoarseness, syntax and poll numbers By ANN McFEATTERS Scripps Howard News Service WESTERVILLE, Ohio — Bob Dole seems to be battling everything these days — hoarseness, the polls, his syntax. Whether it's on a picturesque college campus in Ohio or in Firefighters Park in Troy, Mich., Dole is buffeted by the glitches that are normal with any campaign but seem particularly fated to his underdog status. Here in Ohio, which no Republican presidential candidate has ever lost and still won the White House, Dole is trailing President Clinton 10 points even though he's been in and out of the state repeatedly. On Tuesday his staff had him fly into Columbus and drive for half an hour to get to a rally at Otterbein college, a commitment of almost half a day to speak mainly to students. Ohio Gov. George Voinovich got almost as much applause when he saluted the Otterbein Cardinals as he did when he introduced Dole, "a man of tough love," who was "back for his weekly visit to Ohio." "I'm excited. I'm excited," Dole said. It turned out that seven members of the Green Bay Packers football team, from Wisconsin, were there. In Michigan, where he is down T CHRISTIAN COALITION Religious group hands out guides Christian Coalition mounts its largest political effort By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Christian conservatives are ready to mobilize 100,000 volunteers in a muscular drive to re-elect a Republican Congress — proof, a leader said, that they have "crossed the threshold of legitimacy" and become a permanent force in American politics. Ralph Reed, executive director of the Christian Coalition, said the group will mount the greatest political effort in its history over the next two weeks, distributing 45 million voter guides in 120,000 churches and contacting three million to five million voters in person or by telephone. The coalition is the offspring of religious broadcaster Pat Robertson's 1988 presidential campaign. Some Democrats have complained that the voter guides distort their positions on such issues as abortion, school prayer The Associated Press Ralph Reed, Christian Coalition executive director, talks Tuesday about how Christians are changing U.S. politics. and homosexuality. And Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which describes itself as an independent "watchdog" group, said it was sending a memorandum prepared by lawyers warning that church officials could jeopardize their institutions' tax-ex- empt status by distributing the voter guides. Reed, in an address Tuesday to the National Press Club, brushed aside a lawsuit filed by the Federal Election Commission, alleging that the coalition made illegal corporate contributions to Republican candidates through its guides, get-out-the-vote efforts and other activities. He said the Supreme Court has already dismissed the issues raised by the case. Postal authorities also are investigating the group's mailing practices. "I don't think people of faith distributing nonpartisan voter guides prior to an election falls within the category of what's wrong with our political life," Reed said. At the same time, he criticized Vice President Al Gore for attending a fund-raiser at a Buddhist temple in California last April and announced the coalition has asked the FEC to investigate. He said the Democrats who complained about the voter guides had turned "a Buddhist temple of worship into a den of thieves." Gore, in an interview with National Public Radio Monday night, said the Democrats erred in arranging the fund-raiser. He said he thought it was a "community outreach event" when he agreed to participate. 16 points, Dole's bus caravan led by his bus, "Asphalt I," rolled into the small town of Chelsea only to have the local high school band, clad in blue and white Dole colors, cheerfully belt out the theme song to "Mission Impossible." Often at his rallies, Dole gets the song, "All I Want is Respect." His press aide, Nelson Warfield, insists Dole hasn't told him he's sick, but Dole sounds hoarse, is off his pace in his campaign speech and said he's taking Sudafed for his voice. He is hard to hear at campaign events and seems disconcerted, rushing through applause lines. Sixteen-year-old Stacey Johnston stood very near where Dole was speaking in the small town of Chelsea but complained, "I couldn't hear one thing he said. It was T NORTH CAROLINA RACE kind of a monotone." In Grand Blanc, Mich., Tuesday, Dole strung one seeming non-sequitur to another. "Dole/Kemp. Two four-letter words you can tell your children., Welcome to Bill Clinton's retirement party. We've never had a Bob in the White House. We do have a cat, Socks ... I'm the most optimistic man in America. On Nov. 6, Bill Clinton is going to be the most surprised man in America." Michigan Gov. John Engler, once considered a possible vice presidential candidate, has been increasingly defensive about Dole's poll deficit in his state, which he insists is only 10 points, although independent polls put it higher. Helms raises race as issue in Senate race Longtime incumbent uses the issue in ads against black Democrat By The Associated Press RALEIGH, N.C. — Just two weeks before Election Day, Sen. Jesse Helms is raising race as an issue in his rematch against Democrat Harvey Gantt, who is black. A new TV ad from the conservative Republican accuses Gantt of enjoying preferential treatment because of his minority status to reap millions of dollars. The ad began running this week and echoes the last weeks of their first contest, in 1990. "We're back to 1990," said David Paletz, a Duke University political scientist. "Race has always been there. Race is now there in black and white." A poll released Sunday showed Helms with 51 percent and Gantt with 44 percent, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Two other polls, also taken between Oct. 10 and Oct. 16, showed Gantt was still within range of Helms. The ad says: "In 1986, Harvey Gantt used his minority status to purchase interest in a TV station under false pretense. Weeks later, he and his partners sold the station to a white-owned corporation, making millions." The ad also says Gantt, who is an architect, used his minority status "to get preferential treatment on public school contracts." The ad does not specify the contracts Gantt may have landed. "I think Jesse Helms is desperately trying to change the subject. He would rather rerun false attacks than defend his record on Medicare and Social Security," said Gantt spokeswoman Dalit Toledano. "The fact is that Harvey Gantt is a successful, award-winning architect and businessman who does not use his minority status to get business." A Helms spokesman did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday. Paletz called the ads clever. "He's not attacking blacks. He's attacking something that is of benefit to African-Americans which is unpopular in the state and then he identifies Gantt with that," Paletz said.

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