Bush and Rival Head to Florida

9-29-04 - CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) President Bush surveys hurricane damage in Florida again Wednesday, on his way to Miami and the presidential debate venue.

Florida's 27 electoral votes are not lost on the president, or on his challenger, John Kerry. The Democrat also heads to Florida to overnight in Miami. Both men have been rehearsing for Thursday’s face-off.

A new poll that gives Bush an eight-point lead over Kerry also finds Bush in front among key groups of voters such as Catholics, and people with a high-school education. The poll from the Pew Research Center for People and the Press indicates that it's largely because of voter doubts about Kerry.

John Kerry describes his much-quoted explanation of his Iraq war votes as "one of those inarticulate moments."

The explanation, broadcast Wednesday morning on ABC's "Good
Morning America," comes one day before the first of three presidential debates.

Kerry ultimately voted against providing 87 billion dollars for military operations and aid in Iraq and Afghanistan. He initially supported the appropriation when it was to be funded at least in part by rolling back tax cuts for the wealthy.

He says he ended up voting against the final version of the bill in the Senate as a protest over its funding; which included no-bid contracts.

But his statement to supporters explaining those differing votes has been used by the Bush campaign to portray Kerry as someone who flip-flops.

Kerry describes it as "a very inarticulate way of saying something."