Down to the Wire: President to Visit North Texas

11-1-04 - PITTSBURGH (AP) Likening the campaign to a marathon, President Bush is declaring, "The finish line is in sight."

The president spoke at the Pittsburgh airport in between campaign stops; on a dawn-to-midnight swing through six states.

He said he's energized and confident on the eve of the vote, assuring reporters he's got "the optimism and the enthusiasm" to reach the end of the race.

Bush's day began with a dawn helicopter ride to an airport at Wilmington, Ohio, where he told supporters, "You can count on me."

His schedule also takes him to Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico and Texas.

President Bush will wrap up a last-day, six-day campaign blitz today with a late-night homecoming rally in Dallas. The rally will be on the Southern Methodist University campus before the president heads to his Central Texas ranch. He'll vote in nearby Crawford Tuesday.

Aides have announced that after Bush votes in Crawford, he'll stop in Columbus, Ohio, to thank poll workers before going on to Washington to await the returns.

Meanwhile, democratic presidential candidate John Kerry is about to embark on an aerial assault; flying into battleground states with an eye toward garnering more votes.

Kerry has been repeating the same message to people at rallies big and small, regardless of the state: President Bush hasn't done a good job, Kerry can, and the decision rests in their hands.

Most of the polls suggest Americans are evenly divided between the two candidates. In an interview yesterday with the Associated Press, Kerry displayed a similar split. He kept switching back and forth between saying, "if I'm president" and "when I'm president."

Senior campaign advisor Mike McCurry says big rallies are planned Monday in Milwaukee, Detroit, and Cleveland but there will be a lot of smaller hits in the battleground states between now and Tuesday afternoon.


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