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Bush, Kerry Campaign Non-stop On Day Before Election


President Bush wraps up his campaign for re-election with seven rallies Monday, hoping to tip the balance in a race that is still tight, just one day before voters go to the polls.

In a campaign sprint to the finish, President Bush rallies Republican supporters in the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico, and Texas.

Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry has rallies in Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Ohio.

The latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows Senator Kerry with a four-point lead in Ohio. The president tried to overcome that with a Sunday night rally in the city of Cincinnati and an early morning event in the town of Wilmington.

"I can't think of a better place to kick off the last day of this campaign than with the good folks here in Ohio," he said. "I want to thank you for coming, thank you for your support. With your help, we will carry this great state and win tomorrow. I'm here to ask for your help. You get your friends and neighbors to go the polls - our fellow Republicans, wise Independents, and discerning Democrats."

No modern-day Republican has ever been elected president without carrying Ohio. Mr. Bush told thousands of supporters in a chilly aircraft hanger that America needs strong, determined, optimistic leadership, and he is ready for the job ahead.

"The American president must lead with clarity and purpose," he said. "As presidents from Lincoln, to Roosevelt, to Reagan so clearly demonstrated, a president must not shift with the wind. A president must make the tough decisions and stand by them."

The president rallies supporters in neighboring Pennsylvania at an event outside the western city of Pittsburgh. The Gallup poll shows Mr. Bush leading Senator Kerry by four points in Pennsylvania and by eight points in Wisconsin, where the Republican candidate has a rally in the city of Milwaukee.

It is then on to two events in Iowa where the president has a slight lead over his Democratic challenger and both candidates have been campaigning hard to carry the state.

Public opinion polls put the two men in a statistical tie in New Mexico where President Bush speaks to supporters in the city of Albuquerque.

His last full day of campaigning ends with a rally in the president's home state of Texas, which he is expected to win easily.

Mr. and Mrs. Bush will spend the night on their Texas ranch before voting Tuesday morning and returning to the White House to await the outcome of a race that is still too close to call.

The latest Gallup poll shows a slight majority of Americans are dissatisfied with the way things are going in America. The president's job approval rating slipped to 48 percent, which is below the 50 percent level generally seen as crucial for incumbents to stay above.

Fighting terrorism remains the president's strongest issue with voters and is foremost in the minds of people in the big swing states of Florida and Pennsylvania.

The poll shows handling the economy is Senator Kerry's strongest issue with voters and is the most important topic with people in the Midwest swing states of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio.

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