Election Recycling: A Well-Done Hoax

pay no attention to the men behind the curtainE MINUS 5

Missing explosives continue to dominate race; Pew study finds gain for Kerry among swing voters. Bush makes first mention of "wild charges," accuses Kerry of "denigrating the action of our troops and commanders in the field without knowing the facts. . . not a person you want as your commander in chief." Kerry: "This is a growing scandal and the American people deserve a full and honest explanation of how it happened and what the president is going to do about it." [WP, NYT, LAT, USAT, USAT, BG, WT]

Judge kills GOP effort to question registrants in Ohio; Ohio Republican Party plans to deploy 3,400 poll monitors to challenge voters' eligibility on election day. Democrat: "The Republican assault on tens of thousands of Ohio voters was an unprecedented effort to intimidate voters, especially minorities, but it has backfired." [WP, NYT]

Legal wrangling, especially over provisional ballots, likely after election day in seven key states. [WSJ]

Bush leads in Florida, Kerry leads in Ohio, tied in Pennsylvania, according to LAT poll. KE04 floods airwaves in Florida, Ohio. [LAT, LAT]

Candidates stump in Midwest. [WSJ]

ABC News requests intelligence analysis of "terror tape," blames administration for leaking it to Drudge. Brian Ross: "It's either a well-done hoax or a tremendous news story." [WP]

Florida as a pressure-cooker. 75% turnout expected while irregularities, complaints, 3-hour waits persist; ground war waged at fevered pitch; BBC reports on Republicans' "caging list." Gore: "Four years seems like four hours because we are in the same struggle for our country's future." [NYT, LAT, LAT, LAT, LAT]

Kerry counts on Iowa: "In a recent interview George Bush referred to Iowa as the hinterlands. I'm almost a resident, folks. . . Iowa isn't the hinterlands, Iowa is the heartland of America. The hinterlands is where we're going to send Bush on Nov. 2." Yepsen: "My observation about this has always been I know a lot more people who use chainsaws than go windsurfing." [NYT]

Bush's dependence on attacks risky. Scholar: "Bush and his team understood early this year that Bush would not be reelected if the election became a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down on him. They had to do something that never has been done to this extent before, really. They had to make this election a referendum on the challenger. Whether it works, of course, we won't know until Election Day." [BG]

Michigan is back in play. [NYT]

Quinnipiac poll shows tie in New Jersey. [NYT]

Hispanic voters, 2 to 1, believe war was a mistake. Kerry leads 59% to 30%; quarter name economy and jobs top issue. [WP]

Likely voters prefer Bush to nominate Supreme Court Justices. [WP]

Both candidates bend the facts in stem cell debate. [NYT]

Times editor defends report on missing explosives, which CBS planned to air two days before the election. [WP]

Candidates sit for ESPN interviews. [LAT]

Kennedys disapprove of Bush's name-dropping. [USAT]

Secret Service, local police crack down on public protests, make swift arrests when Bush is in town; levels not seen since Vietnam. [WP]

Pollsters face wrath of readers and challenges of new technology. [WP, USAT]

Early balloting strains officials. [LAT]

Ground warriors collect unprecedented amount of information for this race and future campaigns. [LAT]

10,000 lawyers for each side push early litigation. [LAT]

Cook predicts turnout could hit 135m. [BG]

Media-bias allegations rev Republicans. [WSJ]

The art of voice-overs: "We were looking for sad, like a friend you trusted for years doing something, a little bit of betrayal. You want to speak to people, you don't want to bash them over the heads." [WP]



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