A Day On The Presidential Campaign Trail


A Day on the Presidential Campaign Trail
by Joe Lavin

New York, New York, 7:00 a.m.
The day begins with the release of the latest Reuters tracking poll, which
shows that George W. Bush has surged two points since last night to
take a 47-46 percent lead over Al Gore, with a margin of error of 4 percent.
"Oh, this is huge. Bush has really taken back the momentum by staying
on message throughout the night. At this point, it's really his election to
lose," political analyst Ted Murphy tells the Today show.

Meanwhile, a new ABC News-Washington Post poll reveals that
Governor Bush's latest speech contained a margin of error of 67 percent.

St. Paul, Minnesota, 7:15 a.m.
At an early morning campaign stop, Al Gore promises to lock up the
wealthiest one percent of taxpayers in an ironclad lock box that won't be
opened until the year 2038.

Orlando, Florida, 8:45 a.m.
Recent retiree Bob Tildon stops for breakfast at a local Denny's on his
way to a very busy day. Already named as America's most undecided
citizen, Tildon is a hot commodity these days. Today alone, he will
appear in three forums of undecided voters on CNN, MSNBC, and CBS

Sara Jacobs, a 26-year-old actress, is also on her way to the television
studio. Jacobs is bubbling over with excitement at the chance to be on
television, though privately she admits she is not nearly as undecided as
Tildon. "Sure, I know who I'm voting for," she candidly acknowledges.
"But I couldn't pass this up. This is great exposure. Actually, most of the
people on these things are just other actors who want to be on TV," she

Chicago, Illinois, 10:00 a.m.
Because he has already appeared on every other talk show in the
country, George W. Bush appears briefly at a taping of The Jerry
Springer Show. "I may be a uniter and not a divider," he tells the studio
audience. "But that guy over there in the pink dress who wants to marry
his uncle, he's just whacked."

Orlando, Florida, 11:15 a.m.
CNN convenes its panel of undecided voters, without Bob Tildon, who
is still back at Denny's trying to figure out what to order for breakfast.
"Well, I like pancakes, but I'm just not sure if the time is right for more
pancakes, you know, and besides deep down I really like bacon and eggs
just as much," he tells waitress Sally Hensdale. "Oooh, maybe I could
have waffles," he adds.

Madison, Wisconsin, 11:45 a.m.
A Bush commercial airs in Madison, but this is no ordinary political
commercial. Up until now, the candidates have targeted specific groups
of voters. Now, for the first time, the Bush campaign targets just one
voter. "Mildred Thomason, I want your vote, and I need your vote.
Please vote for me, Mildred. I beg you," Bush says in the spot that airs
during The Price is Right, Thomason's favorite television program.

The commercial seems to work. In a phone interview minutes later,
Thomason says she is deeply flattered and will definitely consider voting
for Bush, although she adds, "Those flowers Al sent last week were
awfully nice."

Chicago, Illinois, 1:00 p.m.
Not to be outdone on the talk show front, Al Gore also appears with
Jerry Springer. Minutes later, Gore is rushed to the hospital for seven
stitches over his right eye, after the studio audience takes his "I will fight
for you" rhetoric a little too literally.

New York, New York, 2:00 p.m.
The latest Reuters tracking poll is released, showing that Gore has
surged one point in the last six hours to take a 47-46 percent lead over
Bush, with a margin of error of 4 percent. "Oh, this is huge. Gore has
really taken back the momentum by staying on message these last six
hours. At this point, it's really his election to lose," political analyst Ted
Murphy tells CNN.

Meanwhile, the Gallup poll of likely voters who experience wild mood
swings now shows Gore ahead 53-38, a dramatic change from the day
before when Bush was leading 55-39.

Madison, Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m.
In a last minute election gambit, Al Gore announces that his prescription
drug plan for seniors will now include free drugs for seniors even if they
don't have a prescription.

"We need this law," Gore tells voters at a town hall meeting. "Just the
other day, I was talking with Mildred Thomason. Six months ago, her
doctor cut her off morphine, claiming that she was addicted. Now, that's
just not right. Mildred, I want you to know I will fight for you. If elected, I
will give you your morphine."

In response, George W. Bush immediately announces his plan to use the
entire budget surplus to hand out free Viagra to anyone who wants it.

Los Angeles, California, 4:45 p.m.
In order not to taint the Gore campaign with his scandal-ridden past,
President Bill Clinton campaigns for Al Gore from within an ironclad lock
box. "Mmmmph, mmmmph, mmmmmmph," he tells voters from within the

Columbia, Missouri, 6:30 p.m.
In some of the harshest campaign rhetoric yet, Al Gore suggests that
Bush may not be ready for the White House. "Now, I know I may not be
the most likeable politician, but at least I'm not an idiot. Let's face it. My
opponent doesn't even understand half the things I've claimed to have

Eugene, Oregon, 7:30 p.m.
Due to call waiting, swing voter Richard Davis becomes the first person
ever to participate in two polls simultaneously. "Oh, could you hold on a
sec? I've got CNN on the other line," Davis tells a pollster from Reuters.
Davis informs CNN that he plans to vote for Bush, but by the time he
gets back on the phone with Reuters he has changed his mind and plans
to vote for Gore.

New York, New York, 8:00 p.m.
The latest Reuters tracking poll is released, showing that Bush has
surged one point in the last six hours to take a 47-46 percent lead over
Gore, with a margin of error of 4 percent. "Oh, this is huge. Bush has
really taken back the momentum by staying on message these last six
hours. At this point, it's really his election to lose," political analyst Ted
Murphy tells the Fox News Channel.

Meanwhile, a CBS-New York Times poll reveals that 100 percent of
Americans just wish this election would be over already. There is no
margin of error.

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