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Clinton stumps for Gore in Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (CNN) -- Four years to the day when he won re-election, President Clinton returned to his home state of Arkansas, hoping to turn out the vote for his deputy, Al Gore, who is locked in a tight race with George W. Bush.

Asked by CNN if he thought he could win the state for Gore, the president said he hoped he could make it happen, adding that he believed Arkansas was in much better shape than it was eight years ago.

Clinton made the comments after making an unscheduled visit to the Democratic Party headquarters in Little Rock, where he shook hands with volunteers and provided his own analysis of the current campaign.

Clinton delivers a campaign speech for Gore on Sunday in his home state of Arkansas  

"The Republicans think they're going to win because they're more likely to vote than we are," he said. "If we all vote, we win."

Calling on the volunteers to get the "troops out," the president said he believes that undecided voters "are going to break for Gore" in the end.

When asked what he would do to win the state for Gore, he said he would work in Arkansas all day and then go back to Washington to make phone calls.

The president started his morning by startling his Secret Service agents, announcing early Sunday that he would be playing golf at a course in the Little Rock area.

He began walking to the local course by himself, but eventually his limousine followed and he jumped inside. He then spent time on the links by himself, something aides said the president did on a previous trip to Arkansas.

After attending church, the president addressed Arkansas civic leaders in Little Rock, and then rallied with residents of Pine Bluff, a community that contains a large number of African-American voters.

At the Pine Bluff event, his last rally before Election Day, the president gave an analysis of the current campaign.

"This race is tight as a tick here in this district, this state, and all over this country," he said. "And I'll tell you who's going to win. Who's going to win is who wants it bad enough."

During the rally, the president touted Democratic candidate Mike Ross, who is running neck-and-neck with Republican U.S. Rep. Jay Dickey of Pine Bluff, a Clinton critic during impeachment proceedings.

The most current state poll, a Mason-Dixon survey of likely voters, shows Bush with 45 percent, Gore with 44 percent, Ralph Nader with 4 percent and Pat Buchanan with 1 percent. The poll, conducted October 27-29, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Earlier Sunday, in Little Rock, Clinton told civic leaders that voters may have forgotten what the nation was like before his presidency.

"Sometimes it's harder to make a decision in good times than in bad times," he said. "There are younger voters in this election who don't even remember what it was like eight years ago."



Sunday, November 5, 2000


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