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Candidates hit the home stretch

By John Mercurio and Kathy Benz
CNN Washington Bureau

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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- It's the last weekend before Election Day, and leaders in both major political parties are on the hustings, trying to rally their respective bases. With several neck-in-neck races, Democrats and Republicans know that turnout is key this Tuesday.

President Bush continues with his multi-state campaign blitz, while former President Clinton is doing his best to help the Democratic gubernatorial nominee in Florida. Look out for appearances by such political luminaries as Republican Rudy Giuliani and Democrat Al Gore.

Here's a comprehensive look at what's happening leading up to November 5, which, incidentally, isn't just Election Day -- it's President and Laura Bush's silver wedding anniversary.

November 2


President Bush travels to Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. He starts the day in Tennessee, where he's making his third campaign appearance with Rep. Van Hilleary, the GOP gubernatorial nominee who's closing in on Democrat Phil Bredesen. In Savannah, Georgia, Bush will stump once again for Republican gubernatorial candidate Sonny Perdue and Senate nominee Saxby Chambliss, who like Hilleary, has seen his poll numbers improve in recent days in his race against Sen. Max Cleland, a Democrat. It's the second time in three weeks the president has flown to Georgia for the two GOP pols. The president then heads for Florida, where he'll campaign for his brother, GOP Gov. Jeb Bush, in Tampa. Saturday marks the president's 12th visit to Florida -- and his second in two weeks -- since taking office. Jeb Bush and Lt. Gov. Frank Brogan will continue their "Four More" statewide bus tour with stops throughout central Florida. The 15 stop tour began Friday in Pensacola and will end Sunday in Davie.

•Vice President Dick Cheney travels to Utah and Missouri. Cheney touches down at Salt Lake City International Airport for a three-in-one campaign rally. Joining him with be former state House Speaker Rob Bishop, who's running to replace retiring GOP Rep. James Hansen in the state's 1st Congressional District, state Rep. John Swallow, who's running against Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson, and GOP Rep. Chris Cannon.


•Former President Bill Clinton will travel to Miami this weekend to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill McBride, who trails Gov. Jeb Bush by single digits in recent polls. Clinton and McBride will attend a morning homecoming parade in Tallahassee, followed by a midday barbecue in Tampa. They'll headline an evening rally with retiring Rep. Carrie Meek, a Democrat, in Miami. Florida Democrats will gather Saturday night for a Clinton rally in Ft. Lauderdale.

•Education Secretary Rod Paige comes to North Carolina for GOP Senate nominee Elizabeth Dole for the final day of Dole's "Eliza-bus" tour. Dole's husband, Bob, will also meet up with his wife in Salisbury.

•In Minnesota, Republican Norm Coleman rallies voters across the state this morning before holding a full-fledged campaign event with first lady Laura Bush at Eagan High School in the evening.

Laura Bush will touch down in Nashua, New Hampshire, to campaign for GOP Senate candidate John Sununu. The first lady will also attend a Republican rally at Waukee High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

•Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a Republican, campaigns for the Senate most vulnerable Republican incumbent, Tim Hutchinson of Arkansas. Giuliani and Hutchinson will be in Fort Smith at a GOP rally. Hutchinson trails his Democratic challenger, state attorney general Mark Pryor, in recent polls.


•Pennsylvania Republicans are circling the wagons, campaigning en masse for their struggling gubernatorial nominee, Mike Fisher, who trails Democrat Ed Rendell by double digits. Fisher campaigns Saturday morning with Rep. Melissa Hart in Pittsburgh. In the afternoon, he's meeting up with Sen. Rick Santorum and Reps. George Gekas and Joe Pitts. And in the evening, he's scheduled to deliver remarks at the Pennsylvania Family Institute dinner in Lancaster with Lisa Beemer, the widow of September 11 victim Todd Beemer.


•New Jersey's Senate candidates, Republican Doug Forrester and Democrat Frank Lautenberg hold not one but two debates.

•Lieutenant General Claudia J. Kennedy, the first and only woman to ever hold that rank in the Army, will campaign with Senate nominee Bob Clement. Kennedy will join supporters in a rally at the Clement headquarters in Nashville in the early afternoon and later attend a Democratic rally at Riverwalk in Clarksville.

•New Mexico's gubernatorial nominees, Democrat Bill Richardson and Republican John Sanchez, attend the New Mexico Broadcasters' Association Gridiron Dinner in Albuquerque.

•Timed to coincide with the midterm elections, atheists are planning a protest in the nation's capital to demand that the federal government stop what they call repeated violations of the separation of church and state.

•Fallout from the Haitian refugee crisis in Florida spills into the state's elections. Palm Beach County voters of Haitian descent, galvanized by TV footage of refugees jumping from a grounded boat this week, plan to meet and cast early ballots A new state law allows voters to cast absentee ballots for any reason -- not only because they plan to be out of state on Election Day.

November 3

President Bush will head from Tampa, Florida to Springfield, Illinois and Minneapolis, where he'll meet up with Republican Senate candidate Norm Coleman. Bush and Coleman will stop by the X-cel Center in St. Paul for an evening GOP rally. Bush then heads to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where he will spend the night.


•Taking a break from his curiously timed book tour, Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, will campaign in San Diego, California with his party's struggling gubernatorial candidate, Bill Simon, and the entire statewide GOP ticket. McCain's appearance will be part of the GOP's two-day "Fire Gray Davis Tour." Davis leads Simon by seven points in the latest poll.

•Former Vice President Al Gore will travel to Florida Saturday and Sunday to campaign for Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill McBride.

•Still in Florida, Bill Clinton and gubernatorial nominee Bill McBride will attend a morning church service in South Florida. Clinton then leaves for Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he'll join gubernatorial nominee Jimmie Lou Fisher and other Democratic candidates in a rally. Noticeably missing from the list of Democrats scheduled to attend the rally is state Attorney General Mark Pryor, who's running slightly ahead of Sen. Tim Hutchinson, a Republican, in new polls. A spokesman dismissed the significance of Pryor's absence from the Clinton rally, saying Pryor is trying to run this race on his own.

•Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, remains in his home state to appear with Rep. Jim Maloney, a Democrat, running an uphill race against Rep. Nancy Johnson, a Republican, in the state's newly configured 5th Congressional District. Lieberman also plans to attend get-out-the-vote rallies throughout the state.

•In New Mexico, Democrat Bill Richardson and Republican John Sanchez participate in one more debate.

•Democrat Dan Blue, who lost the Senate primary in North Carolina to Erskine Bowles, will campaign with Bowles in Durham. Polls show Bowles is gaining on Elizabeth Dole in the race to succeed retiring Sen. Jesse Helms, a Republican.

•House GOP Conference Chairman J.C. Watts of Oklahoma, and White House adviser Karen Hughes will attend a rally in Alexander City, Alabama for state House Minority Leader Mike Rogers, a Republican running against Democrat Joe Turnham, for Alabama's 3rd Congressional District seat.

November 4


President Bush will campaign again in the Midwest, touching down in Missouri, Iowa and Arkansas. Bush will kick off a last-day campaign blitz at a rally for Republicans in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The rally will include Rep. Greg Ganske, the GOP challenger to Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat. Bush will spend the night at his ranch in Crawford, Texas.

•Connecticut Comptroller Bill Curry, the struggling Democratic challenger to GOP Gov. John Rowlands, finally gets some help from his former boss, Bill Clinton. Clinton has confirmed that he will attend a rally for Curry in Connecticut. Sen. Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut, plans to join them at the rally, which will feature other statewide and legislative candidates.

Rudy Giuliani was tentatively scheduled to attend a rally in Minnesota for Republican Senate candidate Norm Coleman, but Coleman aides could not confirm that event on Friday.


•Pennsylvania Democratic nominee Ed Rendell spends the last day of his gubernatorial campaign rallying supporters in Philadelphia and Erie. His GOP rival, Mike Fisher, tours the state with acting Gov. Mark Schweiker, GOP Sens. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum and local officials.

•First lady Laura Bush turns 56.

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