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Inside Politics

Gore Fights Two-Front War; Bush Takes Battle to Michigan

Aired October 27, 2000 - 5:00 p.m. ET


FRANK SESNO, CNN ANCHOR: Al Gore walks a fine line on the campaign trail, mindful of the threats on his right and his left. Also ahead:


CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: But while George Bush is on fire, his aides are steaming.


SESNO: Candy Crowley on the Bush campaign and new charges of dirty politics.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Four, three, two, one...

NARRATOR: It is the rain that we...


SESNO: A very controversial blast from the past now is echoing on the airwaves in Campaign 2000.

Plus: We'll go in the trenches with Democrats and Republicans as they fight the political ground war.

ANNOUNCER: This is INSIDE POLITICS with Frank Sesno in Washington and Judy Woodruff reporting from Pittsburgh.

JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Thank you for joining us. Bernie is on assignment.

It is raining here in Pittsburgh but Al Gore has just arrived at this rally Carnegie Mellon University and you can you hear behind me this is a big and exciting crowd. All part of the vice president's effort today to regain lost ground in this battleground state of Pennsylvania and in neighboring West Virginia.

Our Jonathan Karl reports on Gore's day and the dual nature of his campaign strategy.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) JONATHAN KARL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Even as he draws some of his biggest and most energetic crowds, Al Gore finds himself struggling to wage a two-front war in the closing days of the campaign.

AL GORE, VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Because I want to fight for you. I want to fight for your family. I want to fight for West Virginia.

KARL: On his right flank Gore courts undecided voters, portraying himself as a fiscally conservative advocate of limited government and balanced budgets.

GORE: As president I will not add to the number of people doing work for the federal government not by even one position.

KARL: On his left flank, he courts disillusioned liberals tempted to vote for Green Party candidate Ralph Nader by ramping up his us-versus-them populism.

GORE: If the big oil companies and the chemical manufacturers and the other big polluters were able to communicate a message to this state, they would say vote for George Bush or, in any case, vote for Ralph Nader. They would say, whatever you do, don't vote for Gore.

KARL: As evidence that a vote for Nader is a vote for Bush, Gore's aides point to a new ad by a Republican group allied with Bush.


RALPH NADER, GREEN PARTY PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Al Gore is suffering from election year delusion if he thinks his record on the environment is anything to be proud of.


KARL: The ad conveniently leaves out Nader's even harsher criticism of Bush, but it's an indication that Republicans believe and Democrats fear Nader's support in a handful of swing states could drain enough from Gore to tip the scales in Bush's favor.

But while Gore courts party liberals and Naderites in big rallies, he uses more formal policy speeches to tout his moderate new Democrat roots.

GORE: I have a simple approach to the Internet economy: government should keep its hands off -- no burdensome government regulations; no new tariffs on Internet transmissions; and a moratorium on taxes on the Internet.

KARL: Gore used this speech in Western Pennsylvania to propose new tax credits for corporations who invest in research and development.

(END VIDEOTAPE) KARL: (OFF-MIKE) Schedule for the United States is in part a road map for the threat posed by Ralph Nader. Gore plans two trips over the next week to Minnesota, a state that hasn't voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1972. But thanks to support for Ralph Nader, suddenly Minnesota is up for grabs -- Judy.

WOODRUFF: All right, John Karl, thanks a lot. Back on the trail for you.

Now to George W. Bush. Today he is focusing on the battleground state of Michigan. One new poll there shows Bush trailing Gore by just two percentage points. Another shows the two candidates are dead even.

Our Candy Crowley reports on the battle for Michigan and new evidence that the presidential race is getting nastier.


CROWD: No more Gore! No more Gore!

CROWLEY (voice-over): The crowds are big and upbeat, the candidate revved up, oozing confidence.

GOV. GEORGE W. BUSH (R-TX), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: He trusts government. We trust the people. He trusts the federal government. We trust you with your own money to be able to make the right decisions. It is the fundamental difference in this campaign, and it's the reason why we are going to win this election because of that.

CROWLEY: But while George Bush is on fire, his aides are steaming over a series of taped phone calls the Democratic Party is making across Michigan. One features a Texas woman whose husband died four years ago in a nursing home.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: When George W. Bush ran for governor, he promised to improve the quality of life for nursing home residents. But Governor Bush broke that promise when he signed legislation that weakened nursing home standards.


CROWLEY: Bush communications director Karen Hughes slammed the phone calls as the exploitive use of an elderly woman's tragedy, wrong on the facts, despicable, and, she says, typical.

KAREN HUGHES, BUSH CAMPAIGN COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: This is an officially sanctioned ad that proves that Vice President Gore's campaign will sink to the absolute depths in their effort to do anything and say anything to win election.

CROWLEY: Gore aides say the phone messages are absolutely accurate and fair. And while they were on the subject, they had a complaint of their own: this ad suggesting the Clinton-Gore administration made deals with China that put the U.S. in danger.


NARRATOR: In exchange for campaign contributions, Red China was given access and sold vital technology that will now give China the ability to threaten our homes with long-range nuclear warheads.


CROWLEY: Now showing in a number of battleground states, the ad is an echo of one of the most famous political ads of the TV age.


NARRATOR: Five, four, three, two, one, zero. These are the stakes!


CROWLEY: The Gore people say those people responsible for the 2000 ad are "shadowy special interests" trying to save George Bush. Other Democrats suggest the ad comes from friends of their favorite enemy: Newt Gingrich. In truth, it's not clear who put this out. But their political persuasion seems obvious. The Bush campaign says there is no comparison between Democratic phone calls and the anonymous TV ad, which it is trying to track down.

HUGHES: Governor Bush condemns those type of anonymous attack ads. Our campaign has called this morning -- our campaign political strategist, Karl Rove, has called the individual who was quoted in the newspaper about that ad and urged that group, whoever they are, to pull down that ad.

CROWLEY (on camera): At the end of the day, after the attacks and the counterattacks, the accusations and the explanations, one thing is quite clear: A very tough, close election is coming to a head.

Candy Crowley, CNN, Benton Harbor, Michigan.


WOODRUFF: We'll have more from Pennsylvania a little later in this hour. Now back to Frank Sesno in Washington.

SESNO: Thanks, Judy. And we'll be back to you a bit farther down in this hour.

But more now on some of that state-by-state combat under way in campaign 2000. This is an interesting one. A new Minnesota poll, underscoring what Jonathan Karl reported a bit earlier: Bush and Gore running neck-and-neck in that state. And Ralph Nader is a factor there -- a big one -- with 10 percent support. In Ohio, Bush appears to have gained some ground. He leads Gore by eight points in a new survey of likely voters in the Buckeye State. And given the closeness of this presidential race nationwide, the campaigns and their allies are stepping up their efforts to get out the vote. We have two reports from the trenches now, beginning with CNN's Brooks Jackson.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we'll go to eight and you go to 10.

BROOKS JACKSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): It's not all TV. This year, the Republican Party is pouring record amounts of money into activities like this, mobilizing volunteers to do old-fashioned precinct walking: knocking on doors, shoe-leather politics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're passing out information for the Bush campaign and a couple of others.

JACKSON: This is Orange County, California, a Republican stronghold in a state where Al Gore is leading. But that hasn't stopped Republicans from budgeting nearly $15 million on ground-war activities here.

GERALD PARSKY, BUSH CALIFORNIA CHMN.: Historically, people have said that California can only be won by raising money and buying TV. And we stepped back and said: That's not the way to win, and that we wanted a full-scale, grassroots, volunteer effort.

JACKSON: Republicans say they are spending three to four times more here on ground-war activities this year than in previous elections. This mail-piece promoting Bush's Social Security plan is going to more than three million California voters, targeted by computer. Overall, GOP officials say 30 million pieces of mail will arrive in voters' mail slots by Election Day.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, my name is Julie, and I'm a volunteer with the Republican Party.

JACKSON: And telephones.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Hi, we're just calling to contact registered Republicans. And we're wondering if you were going to go out and vote on November 7.

JACKSON: The ground war includes massive calling.

(on camera): Night after night, thousands of telephone calls are going out to registered Republicans from 130 California call-centers like this one. And this is by no means the largest.

(voice-over): In the week before Election Day, these volunteer callers will be reinforced by millions of additional calls from commercial phone banks. And everything is centered on a huge push planned for Election Day: to get Republicans to the polls.

STEPHEN FOSSATI, GOP VOLUNTEER: We're asking them to help get out the vote, help get out the vote, come out on Election Day, to help other people get to the polling stations -- if they can't get there themselves, drive people -- walk precincts and try to get Republican candidates elected.

DEBBIE MCCALL, CALIFORNIA DIRECTOR, GOP VICTORY 2000: We have currently sort of signed on the dotted line 40,000 volunteers. And our goal is to deploy 20,000 -- 25,000 volunteers on Election Day.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Someone need a partner?


JACKSON: This sort of thing is going on in state after state. The national party says it's sending $35 to $40 million to state organizations for ground-war activities, more than double anything seen before. And that's in addition to what state parties raise on their own.

FRED MEYER, CHAIRMAN, GOP "VICTORY 2000": All these things are things that are in the 1, 2, 3, 4 percent range as far as their impact is concerned. But that can easily be the difference between winning and losing an election, especially in a close election like this one.

JACKSON: Republicans have discovered what organized labor concluded after the 1996 campaigns: TV can't do it all. Voters respond better to the personal touch.

MCCALL: I think the ground activities make a difference because voters are more inclined to trust their neighbors, their friends, you know -- some average citizen that they're working with, their kids are going to school with. You know, it's not all about what they're saying on TV.

Brooks Jackson, CNN, Los Angeles.



JOHN KING, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This is John King in Seattle, Washington.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How are you doing this morning?

KING: The Democrats' ground war begins before dawn, the volunteer army courtesy of organized labor. It is this hands-on, face-to-face contact that union leaders believe will convince union workers to turn out and vote, and to support the Gore-Lieberman Democratic ticket.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You've got my vote, no problem.

KING: Not that it's always successful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Geez, we got a few Republicans around here.

KING: National AFL-CIO president John Sweeney is on the front lines in the campaign's finals days; this visit to a Seattle shipyard another reminder that the ground war will be critical in an extremely close presidential race.

(on camera): Washington is the nation's fourth-most unionized state and a critical laboratory in organized labor's new hands-on political strategy. But it's also one of a handful of surprises in this year's campaign: a traditionally Democratic stronghold in presidential politics that is proving much more competitive than the vice president and his allies in the labor movement would have hoped.

(voice-over): Oregon, Iowa, Wisconsin and West Virginia are also getting ground-war reinforcements because of Governor Bush's surprising strength in traditionally Democratic states. Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri and Florida are labor's remaining key targets in the final days. Those 10 states have more than 5 million union workers and offer a combined 139 electoral votes, more than half of the 270 needed to win the White House.

For months the national AFL-CIO has had 900 field coordinators across the country; 300 more are being deployed this week for the final stretch and local unions are being asked to add thousands more to the get-out-the-vote effort.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I'm calling on behalf of the Iron Workers Local. I'm calling in support of Al Gore for president and Ron Klink for U.S. Senate.

KING: So labor phone banks like this one in northwest Pennsylvania are calling and recalling union workers, and the local Democratic headquarters is packed with volunteers. Fighting a ground war is meticulous, sometimes monotonous, work.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How many more of these do you need?

KING: Signs are one weapon, mail another; but there's no substitute for the candidate.

CEIL CONNORS, AFSCME: I can't tell you how many telephone calls I got -- you know, Bush has been here twice, we've got to get Al Gore here.

KING: Labor's leaflets paint a sharp contrast between Governor Bush and the vice president.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Would you like information on where the candidates stand on health care?

KIND: But there is mounting worry in states like Washington that Green Party nominee Ralph Nader is the biggest threat to a Gore victory.

ANDREW STERN, SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION: Our home- care workers can't afford to wake up -- our nurses can't afford to wake up and have George Bush as their president. So that, to me, is the question that we should ask the Nader voters: can they live -- because this is not about protest votes anymore, this is about electing the president of the United States.

KING: So every day brings another work site visit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Going to the workers, going to our membership to talk about the issues.

KING: Another leaflet, another face-to-face encounter as labor puts the finishing touch on an unprecedented effort to tilt campaign 2000 in the Democrats' favor.

John King, CNN, Seattle, Washington.


SHAW: And still ahead on INSIDE POLITICS: keeping tabs on the numbers in the presidential race. We'll have the latest polls and talk with pollsters about those many differing results.


SESNO: Eleven days before Americans cast their ballots George W. Bush has a solid advantage in two new CNN polls. Bush leads Al Gore by six points in the CNN/"Time" magazine survey of likely voters. And in our daily CNN/"USA Today" Gallup tracking poll, an average of interviews over the past three days shows Bush ahead by 13 points. Looking at the longer-term trend: a six-day average of our tracking poll interviews shows Bush with a seven-point lead.

Now, comparing our polls to some others, both "The Washington Post" and "ABC News" tracking polls give Bush a three-point lead over Gore, but Gore is ahead by two point in the Reuters/MSNBC tracking poll.

Well, let's talk about those numbers and the discrepancies among the various polls -- how they are developed to begin with.

Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll -- Frank, good to see you. Richard Morin "The Washington Post" polling director joins us from the "Post"'s offices there; and William Saletan of

Will, let me start with you: You wrote yesterday, posted the piece on an article entitled "Pollish Sausage," two "L"s, very clever, I get it -- and you write, in part, "theories are built into the polls, each polling outfit has its own objectives and biases." Explain?

WILLIAM SALETAN, SLATE.COM: Right; well, I think most people, when they hear about a poll, they think, you know, 1,000 people get called and it's all the same thing, one pollster to another.

What they need to understand is, it's not just interviews, it's not just people calling you up and asking you what you think. There's a lot of manipulation of the data that goes on. There are filters that different pollsters put up front to determine who's a likely voter -- in other words, who gets into the poll in the first place -- and those filters differ from poll to poll.

SESNO: So you're saying polling organizations go in with a bias -- looking for something, is that what you're saying?

SALETAN: I don't think it's an ideological bias, but it's a scientific bias. They have their theory about what kind of questions determine who will actually turn out to vote. And at the same time, on the other end, then they get the data back and they have different ways of weighting different demographic groups.

I'm a white man, I might get weighted differently in one poll versus another because one pollster thinks a certain percentage of white man will turn out and another has a different number.

SESNO: Frank Newport, some very important points made her. I'd like you to respond to them -- Gallup, one of the most venerable polling organizations obviously.

FRANK NEWPORT, EDITOR IN CHIEF, GALLUP POLL: Indeed and, in fact, we use a lot of that venerable history that George Gallup, Dr. George Gallup, developed over many years with what we do today. It's essentially the same methodology we've been using.

Now, I agree. I wouldn't use the word bias, I would say we're trying to do it scientifically and we're trying to estimate likely voters. Keep in mind that about half of national adults will vote on Election Day if it was like 1996, not 100 percent.

So it's a very, very important scientific attempt for us to let the data tell us who we think will be the most likely voters and that's the model that we report out every night, which can vary from night to night and from week to week.

SESNO: Well, Frank, how do you explain the great fluctuations and the criticism that Gallup has come under for this year's tracking poll?

NEWPORT: Well we had fluctuation in previous years as well, Frank. If you go back to 1996, our model -- what we're doing now in tracking is actually fairly new, but built into it is the assumption that it's a very sensitive measure of Americans' changes from day to day. And we think in the fall there are a lot of changes. There are a lot of uncommitted voters. People don't have to make up their mind from day to day, and they do shift back and forth. And we designed a model to pick to try to pick that up as accurately as possible in our short-term three-day average.

If you want a smoother look at it, like you showed a moment ago, then we'll average it out on six days, and it does certainly smooth it out. But our attempt was to allow viewers, readers, those interested to really see those ups and downs that we think do occur in a fall campaign.

SESNO: Richard Morin from "The Washington Post," you have had some concerns you have expressed about the Gallup polls, about the polls generally this year. What are your points? RICHARD MORIN, "WASHINGTON POST" POLLING DIRECTOR: All I can say is, is I would love to be tracking the election that Gallup is tracking. It's a lot more interesting election than the one I'm looking at.

SESNO: So you see something very different than the Gallup results?

MORIN: I see something far more stable than the Gallup numbers suggest. I agree with Frank, they have a long history. I do have questions whether or not the model that's worked so well in the past is working well now.


MORIN: It appears there's just too much day-by-day fluctuation. You have large jumps in one candidates' support over a one-day, two- day, three-day period. And I'm looking at the same data collected over the same three-day period and just not seeing it. It's hard for me to duplicate, looking at my numbers, what Gallup is getting.

SESNO: Frank Newport, you want to respond to your colleague?

NEWPORT: Well, I can't speak to what Rich is doing in terms of the "Washington Post" and ABC, in terms of how they gather their data, but we have an absolutely sound scientific model for what we use. We have the highest response rate we actually have in any of our polling built into the tracking model. We do interviewing in exactly the same way we do our other scientific polls. And that's just exactly what we see.

We model the electorate every day, including who we think would be most likely to turn out. We're seeing these ups and downs. We saw it in 1996, we've seen it in other polls taken at comparable times. There a lot of times are significant differences. We just think based on our scientific efforts that's reality, and that's what we're seeing.

MORIN: I think, however, that there are some concerns. I know within Gallup there are concerns and within the profession there are concerns about whether or not Gallup is modeling a likely electorate or merely modeling changes in enthusiasm of one group of voters or another.

SESNO: Will Saletan, would you address that, because I know you talked about it, and then we'll come back to Frank Newport.

SALETAN: Right, I keep hearing this word "scientific," and I agree it's scientific in the sense that these guys are looking at evidence to construct their models. But it's the model that they're working on, it's not the actual interview with the person. So they have developed a theory as to what kind of questions, for example, to ask to determine who's a likely voter.

Now if you use a very subjective measure, if you ask people in the beginning of the interview, are you following the race, are you paying attention to what's going on, and they say no or yes and you decide whether they're a likely voter on that basis, well maybe their feeling about that changes from day to day. Maybe you end up getting a lot more Republicans on a good day for Bush and a lot more Democrats on a good day for Gore...

MORIN: But I don't think any of us...

SALETAN: ... So you're going to get a big swing.

MORIN: I don't think any of us use the answers to one question to determine who is a likely voter or not. We're looking for tendencies and indications based on a number of questions.

SALETAN: But there are -- but there are different questions used. I've just interviewed a bunch of pollsters in the last couple of days about the questions they use. Some of them are using one or two questions, some of them are using six question. If you ask them what their questions are, some of them won't tell you. It's their secret recipe for determining -- somehow they can tell who a likely voter is and the other pollsters can't.

MORIN: Well, I...

SESNO: Frank, would you respond to this...

NEWPORT: Well...

SESNO: specifically on this issue of enthusiasm and screening and the authenticity, if I can use that word, though it's probably not the precise, correct one, of the sampling?

NEWPORT: Well, the sampling is authentic,. It's very, very good sampling. Our questions clearly are somewhat different, but they're ones that we've actually developed over 40 or 50 years, a set of questions that's used to say who would be likely and who wouldn't.

And I absolutely agree that enthusiasm's a part of it, because we think enthusiasm is reflected on Election Day. If it's a year in which, which is possible, that Republicans are going to be enthusiastic, then on Election Day, if they're charged up, in fact, we're going to see a more Republican indication in the actual data. And that's what we're looking for. If Gore charges up his troops, as he's trying to do, I think we see a difference.

So we do measure changes in enthusiasm from day to day and week to week, because our attempt is as of that point in time what would happen if people went to the polls and voted. And we think differential enthusiasm can make a difference in turnout almost as important sometimes as actually who all Americans would vote for if they all went to the polls.

SESNO: I want to ask all three of you one very quick question, about 15 seconds each. OK, given all the polls that are out there, the disparity among them, are we in the media, you in the polling community, clarifying or confusion things for Americans as we watch these polls unfold? Will, you want to go first? SALETAN: Well, I think the best way that we could to clarify it would be for the pollsters to publish, along with their data, the method that they use to filter and to weight their data.

SESNO: And explain it, obviously.

SALETAN: And explain it, yes.

SESNO: Rich?

MORIN: I think some of us are confusing and some of us are clarifying and some of us are doing both at the same time. I do agree we should be more forthcoming about the methods we use, however.

SESNO: So in terms of a prescription for the future, that's something you think needs to happen.

MORIN: Explain it and explain it again and explain it every time you offer up a poll, and don't be shy about sharing what you do.

SESNO: All right, Frank Newport, quickly to you for the last word.

NEWPORT: Well, as Rich knows, we're very forthcoming at Gallup. It's all over our Web site. All of our methods -- we have a history of that -- are out there for anybody to see. We'll be happy to explain it to people and tell them exactly what we're doing. And we hope that the data are clarifying to people that are using it. I trust the average American that they can make sense out of all this.

SESNO: And, of course, they can read more than one poll, which we recommend.

Thanks to all of you very much. Have a great weekend and happy polling.

And there's much more ahead on this edition of INSIDE POLITICS.

Still to come, more from Judy Woodruff and the voters of Pittsburgh.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I really -- I do like a lot of the issues that Bush supports. But I also like a lot of things as they are now.


SESNO: A look at why some Pennsylvania voters still have not decided on a candidate.

Plus, could the Democratic vice presidential candidate have a skeleton in his closet? Jeff Greenfield on a college scandal of minuscule proportions.

And later, the Yankees win the World Series, but who wins the political "Play of the Week"?


SESNO: We'll get back to the campaign trail with more of the day's political news coming up, but now a look at some other top stories making news.

CNN has received a series of photographs taken of the USS Cole in Yemen. We received 16 photographs showing the damage to the destroyer. These photos come from the National Security News Service. The damage is, of course, from the October 12th bomb attack that took the lives of 17 sailors. Now our military affairs correspondent Jamie McIntyre will be along at the top of the hour on "WORLDVIEW" to explain the significance of the photographs and what more we may learn from them.

The Navy, meanwhile, says it's taking a hard look at its security procedures following the attack on the USS Cole. A recent report by WABC-TV in New York shows just how easy it is for private boats to approach U.S. warships. The Cole, meanwhile, begins its journey home next week. The Navy's bringing in a special heavy-lift ship to carry the damaged destroyer back to U.S. waters.

President Clinton says he's "frustrated" by continuous violence in the Middle East. At least, four people died today as Palestinians and Israeli troops clashed in the West Bank and Gaza yet again. A month of unrest has claimed 145 lives now, almost all of them Palestinian. Mr. Clinton says he remains in close touch with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is hospitalized after suffering what's being called a limited heart attack. Doctors in New York say the 77-year-old Kissinger is in good condition after being admitted Wednesday. They expect to keep him in the hospital for a few more days.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver is in critical condition at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. The sister of President John F. Kennedy underwent surgery there a few weeks ago to remove a benign tumor in her pancreas. Doctors readmitted her Monday because of a post- operative infection. Shriver's family is said to be with her.

And when INSIDE POLITICS returns, Judy Woodruff joins us once again from Pittsburgh with a look at some undecided voters there.


WOODRUFF: Live pictures from here in Pittsburgh, where Vice President Gore has just finished speaking at this rally on the Mall in front of Hamerschlag Hall at Carnegie Mellon University. You can hear the fireworks. Democratic Congressman and United States Senate candidate Ron Klink of Pennsylvania also there on stage with other Democrats from all over this state.

Meanwhile, Governor George W. Bush at a rally at the Michiana Regional Airport in South Bend, Indiana, near the border with Michigan, where Bush has spent this day. He flies from there to a rally in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

The reason Bush and Gore continue to work so hard in all of these states is that there are still voters out there even now who haven't made up their minds. We came to western Pennsylvania yesterday looking for some of them and asking them what they were thinking about these candidates.


WOODRUFF (voice-over): We found around a newly prosperous Pittsburgh, proof of why neither George W. Bush nor Al Gore can take Pennsylvania's 23 electoral votes for granted. At such places as CoManage, a high-tech firm, it's not the economy, but personality, character and experience that undecideds are mainly focused on. Engineer Mike Duffy (ph) is leaning Gore, but has reservations.

MIKE DUFFY, PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT: It probably comes back to he just seems so rigid. You know, and he doesn't seem like -- I think you need to be somebody that can deal with people.

WOODRUFF: D.C. Sohn (ph), a newly naturalized citizen, leans to Bush, but is not enthusiastic.

D.C. SOHN, PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT: I think he seems to lack experience and stature. He seems to have more -- how do I say -- moral fiber than Al Gore.

WOODRUFF: In the bustling community of Monroeville, we found three couples who live near each other, but whose views of the candidates are all over the map. IRS counselor Marty Galia (ph) is voting Gore.

MARTY GALIA, PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT: He knows how to get things done. He has seen how to get things done, how to compromise in Washington. He knows who the players are, where Bush, as an outsider, does not.

WOODRUFF: Their friend, Marlene Seibel (ph), still wrestling with her vote, has doubts about Gore.

MARLENE SEIBEL, PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT: I feel like he is fake. You know, I feel like -- when I watched him kiss his wife on that -- after his little speech, I just was like, I didn't like that. I thought that was very degrading.

WOODRUFF: Chamber of Commerce president Wesley Blaha also is critical of Gore.

WESLEY BLAHA, PRESIDENT, PENNSYLVANIA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE: And he wants so badly to be president. It is like the kid in the class that will do anything to be class president and so forth. And it's just that kind of insecure nervousness about him that you just want to smack him one and say: Hey, relax, be yourself. You will do a heck of a lot better.

WOODRUFF: His wife, Cindy Blaha, agrees Gore is awkward in public, but says Bush's lack of command of the issues gives her much greater qualms about him.

CINDY BLAHA, PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT: I think he is a good candidate. He is a good -- he presents himself a lot better than I anticipated. But he doesn't seem to -- he focuses on three or four issues, and then he does not seem to be able to expand too much on that. And that frightens me a little bit, I guess.

WOODRUFF: If decisions are made on issues, Gore might prevail in this small sample.

SEIBEL: I do like a lot of the issues that Bush supports, but I also like a lot of things as they are now.

WOODRUFF: But if it's personality that's decisive, Donna Galia (ph) seems persuadable.

DONNA GALIA, PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENT: I feel that Bush comes across very natural. I don't always believe what he is saying or get the feeling that he is completely -- you know, being truthful or -- but I don't know. There is something about him that just seems more down to earth.


WOODRUFF: Back now at the Gore rally in Pittsburgh. But, you even know, for all that, it's like a seesaw. Even as these voters told me they were comfortable with George W. Bush, they brought up concerns about his lack of experience in international affairs. They brought up his record in Texas, and said that these concerns still need to be resolved.

Frank, back to you.

SESNO: Judy, thanks very much -- fascinating stuff.

We're joined now by E.J. Dionne of the "Washington Post" and Robert George of the "New York Post."

Let me ask you both just to react a little bit to what you heard the voters say, because that, in so many ways, really sums up -- it's a bit of a microcosm of what's going on out there.

E.J., you first.

E.J. DIONNE, "WASHINGTON POST": Well, I think are two ambivalences out there. Senator Byron Dorgan tells the story of a woman in North Dakota, a constituent in 70s, and she said: You know, I think about this as picking a doctor. If I had a chronic knee problem, you know, minor, but chronic, I would probably pick George Bush, because I would like to hang around with him. I would be seeing him a lot.

If I had cancer, I'd pick Al Gore, because I think he's smarter. And I think that's the kind of ambivalence on that front. On the issues front, Americans are kind of operationally liberal, but ideologically conservative. We don't like big government in the abstract. But we like a lot of things government does for us. And I think Clinton was very good at focusing people on the particular things that government did for them.

I think Gore has had trouble, because Bush has managed to make big government in the abstract the issue. And I think both ambivalences are leading to the confusion we not only in the polls, but I think on the part of a lot of undecided, not particularly ideological voters.

SESNO: Robert, did you hear anything from the voters just a few moments ago that really struck?

ROBERT GEORGE, "NEW YORK POST": Well, I mean, it -- once again, it comes down to what we've seen through most of this campaign: Gore's advantage on experience and issues versus Bush's basic likability. And I agree with what -- I agree with what E.J. said. And I think the greatest irony in this campaign is that George W. Bush seems to have learned the political lessons of the Clinton era more than Al Gore has.

It's George W. Bush who has kind of shaved off the rough edges of Republican ideology and presented himself as a likable individual, somebody that the voters are comfortable with, whereas Al Gore is, ironically enough, starting in a way, is almost coming off like my old boss, Newt Gingrich in the sense of he's the one sounding more ideological, more hard-edged. He always talks about fighting, and people seem to want more of a conciliatory voice as opposed to fighting voice.

SESNO: Robert, you say in the last 10 days before the campaign it's going to come down to the big four?

GEORGE: Which big four are you talking about? Are you talking just the...

SESNO: You make reference to Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Missouri. The big four states?

GEORGE: Well, I think that's true. I think that's quite true. But I'd also throw in -- Florida too, where Gore is surprisingly competitive and I think there were two polls that came out this week that gave him a slight edge. But I think the big problem that Al Gore has is he is still in a sense defending his base states.

Bush is ahead in places like West Virginia, Minnesota, where there was one poll has him ahead in Oregon. These were all Democrat states in the past. And when Bush has that kind of an edge in those states, that gives him freedom to kind of roam around whereas Gore sort of is kind of lock-bound and has to in a sense thread the needle to get to 270 electoral votes.

SESNO: E.J., you see Al Gore in particular being hit from left, right, and center in this process these days?

DIONNE: Yes, I think that you are seeing a really concerted effort to disrupt what you might call the Clinton coalition. On the left you have Ralph Nader, who really is hurting Gore in places like Oregon and Wisconsin. I think one of the striking things about this campaign is that the right wing seems wiser or shrewder than the left wing.

The right wing, whether you're talking about the Christian Coalition or the conservative business groups, people who care about the Supreme Court, they're letting Bush kind of run the kind of campaign he has to and they think this election important. Ralph Nader is saying no, there's no real difference between Bush and Gore.

I doubt that Ralph Nader can be right if all these conservatives see it the other way. And that's why I think some of these Nader votes will come back to Gore. But then on the other side are places that Robert mentioned.

Places like the border states, Missouri, West Virginia, Kentucky which now seems lost to the Democrats, there's a kind of cultural conservatism, some of it from people who care about gun control, Opponents of gun control. Some of it on the Clinton scandal, there are votes peeling away on that side.

And I think Gore has to refocus the campaign on the big things, which is what he keeps talking about, which is the state of the economy and Bush's economic policies to try to pull this coalition back together.

SESNO: E.J. Dionne of "The Washington Post," Robert George of "The New York Post," thanks to you both very much. Have a good weekend.

DIONNE: God to be with you, too.

GEORGE: Thanks, Frank.

SESNO: OK, and just ahead on INSIDE POLITICS, we promise you a blast from the past with none other than Jeff Greenfield.

Plus, the benefits of being a Bush. A preview of the CNN documentary on the Republican presidential hopeful.


SESNO: Mark your calendar. Today is the deadline for vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman to pull out of the Senator race in Connecticut. Senator Lieberman has said all along he'll remain on the Senate ballot despite some concern that by doing so he may hurt Democrats' chances of taking control of the Senate.

As Joe Lieberman seeks higher office, Jeff Greenfield joins us now with memories of an incident from the senator's past.

Jeff, I'm intrigued.

JEFF GREENFIELD, CNN SENIOR ANALYST: Yes, but if you're looking for scandal, don't hold your breath. But this is a question that comes up as soon as anyone runs for high office: What about their past? Remember Bill Clinton and the draft? What did Governor Bush mean about being "young and irresponsible"?

Well, friends, thanks to my intrepid producer Beth Goodman (ph), you're about to learn about something deep, deep in the past of Senator Joseph Lieberman, something he and I and only a handful of others probably remember.


GREENFIELD (voice-over): By the autumn of 1966, the Vietnam War had triggered demonstration on a number of American college campuses. By contrast, the campus of Yale University was relatively calm. There were teach-ins and rallies, but nothing all that explosive. In fact, if you look at this gathering, it seems remarkably good-natured for a protest, not to mention well-dressed. That's because it isn't an anti-war protest at all.

That fellow with the horn-rimmed glasses and his mouth wide-open is me, and that fellow smiling over that fire, that's fellow law student and future senator Joe Lieberman.

So what's all this about?


GREENFIELD: Well, it's not what you think. A few months earlier, Yale had acquired the so-called "Vinland Map," a thousand- year-old document that allegedly proved the Vikings had beaten Columbus to the New World. The Italian-American community was understandably angry, and since it was Columbus Day, a few of us law students with a lot of time on our hands decided to stage a protest.

One of our signs asked, "How would you like your daughter to marry a Viking?" Since it was what we in the press call "a slow news day," the story made a lot of papers, and in fact, Congressman Tip O'Neill, the future speaker, actually commemorated the event in the Congressional Record.

Now, this afternoon, Senator Lieberman responded to this "bombshell" with this quote about his participation. He said: "It was a decision based on historical fact and personal principles, and my support of Christopher Columbus remains unchanged."

Now, Frank, there is no immediate polling data on how this might affect the crucial Scandinavian vote in the critical battleground states of Minnesota and Wisconsin, or whether Lieberman's pro-Columbus stand might help in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

But Woodward and Bernstein, eat your heart out.


SESNO: We're going to have to go out and do a tracking poll and see how this all shakes out, Jeff.

GREENFIELD: We probably will.


SESNO: Thanks very much. Intrepid reporting!

GREENFIELD: That's the news...

SESNO: Well, on -- on Sunday, CNN's "DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA" will take a closer and somewhat more serious look at George W. Bush's past. It's a good series. Here's an excerpt.



BUSH: Let's make it official. I'm a candidate for governor of Texas.



NARRATOR: Whether he was coasting on his father's name became an issue.


BUSH: All the time, the big press corps is coming into our state saying, well, it's given you an amazing advantage to be related to George H.W. Bush. I said, listen, I inherited 100 percent of his enemies and one-half of his friends.




GOV. ANN RICHARDS (D), TEXAS: Where is this guy coming from?


BUSH: He vowed to be respectful of Ann Richards. She couldn't help being contemptuous in return.


RICHARDS: I'm qualified to be governor because I am a successful businessman. Well! Served on five boards and every single business lost money.


NARRATOR: Richards called him Junior, Prince George. But he proved to be a better politician than she thought.

He was asked, of course, about his reckless youth. Did he use illegal drugs? Answer: "Maybe I did, maybe I didn't. What's the relevance?" The issue never found footing.

Mother and father mostly stayed away...


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: George Herbert Walker Bush!


NARRATOR: ... except for the occasional fund-raiser. With his father's help, George W. raised more than any candidate for any office in Texas history.


BUSH: I'll never forget when I first got started, I could see it in Texan's eyes: nice mother, interesting job, no chance.



SESNO: And "DEMOCRACY IN AMERICA" airs Sunday night here on CNN at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

And when we return, mixing politics and baseball for a "Political Play of the Week."


WOODRUFF: As everybody in the world knows by now, it was the New York Yankees who won the World Series last night. But our question is: Does this have any meaning for this election?

For the answer we turn to our own Bill Schneider.

WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: Judy, this election is so close, both sides are grasping at straws -- oh Lord, give us a sign!

Well, guess what? We might have gotten one this week. A sign? Maybe. But, at least, the political play of the week.


SCHNEIDER (voice-over): The Yankees won the World Series. Was that a sign? Possibly.

You see, there's a rule: If the National League wins the World Series, the Democrat wins the White House. The rule worked in 1960, 1964 and 1976. If the American League wins the series, good news for the G.O.P. It certainly was in five elections. Like most rules, this one works except when it doesn't work. Toronto won in 1992 and the Yankees won in 1996, but it didn't help George Bush and Bob Dole much. Ross Perot probably screwed things up. George W. Bush, who used to own a ball team, sure hopes the rule works better for him than it did for his dad. In fact, Bush showed up today in the home town of Derek Jeter, the series' most valuable player, to try to grab some of the glory.

BUSH: I hope to be able to drink some of that Kalamazoo water that Derek Jeter drank when he lived here.


SCHNEIDER: Of course, some politicians try to have it both ways.

REGIS PHILBIN, HOST, "LIVE WITH REGIS": I just want to know, Mr. Vice president, who you're rooting for.

GORE: I'm for New York city.

SCHNEIDER: Is that a safe position? Everybody knows how obnoxious New Yorkers are.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This says "champion!" That's right!

SCHNEIDER: But the Yankees' victory was not necessarily a good sign for all Republicans.

RICK LAZIO (R), NEW YORK SENATE CANDIDATE: I'm a lifelong New York Mets fan.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK SENATE CANDIDATE: I'm going to be rooting for the Yankees, I can tell you that much.

SCHNEIDER: That doesn't count, say New York Republicans.

MAYOR RUDY GIULIANI (R), NEW YORK: He became a New York Met fan living in New York, the traditional way.

SCHNEIDER: Viewership of the World Series was down this year. Could that be a sign about voter turnout next month? After all, this campaign is getting so dirty it's beginning to look like a baseball game.

The Yankees seem to have established a winning dynasty. Kind of like, maybe, the Bushes? We'll see. All we can say for now is, the Yankees win -- the series and the political play of the week.


SCHNEIDER: Now, the Dow Jones industrial average is an even better forecaster of election results. For the past 100 years, in election years when the Dow went up between July 31 and October 31, the incumbent party stayed in power most of the time. When the Dow fell, the incumbent party usually lost.

Well, on July 31st of this year, the Dow closed at 10586. We'll have to see where the Dow closed on Tuesday. But you know what? Today, the Dow closed at 10590. It looks like a close one -- Judy. WOODRUFF: All right, Bill Schneider, thanks a lot. All those rules meant to be observed until they're not.

From Pittsburgh, I'm Judy Woodruff, that's all for this edition of INSIDE POLITICS -- Frank.

SESNO: Judy, great to see you. They have some cleaning up to do behind you there, I can see, as well. Have a great weekend.

I'm Frank Sesno.

"WORLDVIEW" is next. We've got a lot of programming ahead for you -- 9 o'clock tonight on "LARRY KING LIVE, vice presidential nominee Dick Cheney; 10 o'clock, looking at the presidential race unconventionally with Jeff Greenfield.



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