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Bush Campaigns for Republican Candidates in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida - 2002-11-02


With three days to go before nationwide elections, President Bush is on the campaign trail, hoping to help Republicans regain control of the U.S. Senate.

Continuing his push toward election day, President Bush rallied Republicans in the southern states of Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida.

In Tennessee Saturday, Mr. Bush called on supporters to get out the vote for Republican candidates in Tuesday's elections.

"We have an obligation as American citizens to vote. So, as we are approaching election day, I am traveling the country, reminding Republicans and Democrats and people who don't give a hoot about politics, to do their duty, and go to the polls," said Mr. Bush. "But, I got some suggestions once they get in the box."

In Tennessee, the president's party is trying to hold on to a U.S. Senate seat and the state governor's office. In Georgia, Republicans are trying to unseat a Democratic governor and gain a Senate seat.

But it is Florida, where President Bush has the biggest personal stake in helping his brother Jeb Bush win re-election as governor. Florida gave the president the votes he needed to win the 2000 election, and will be crucial to his hopes of winning re-election in 2004.

Democrats have made the Florida race a priority in these mid-term elections with former President Bill Clinton campaigning for Democratic challenger Bill McBride Saturday and Sunday. Former Vice President Al Gore campaigns for Florida congressional candidates Sunday, and appears with Mr. McBride on Monday.

In the days leading up to Tuesday's vote, Mr. Bush will have campaigned in 15 states, hoping his high approval ratings help reverse a trend that usually shows the party in control of the White House losing seats in mid-term elections.

Republicans want to hold on to their majority in the House of Representatives and regain control of the U.S. Senate.

The president campaigns in Illinois, Minnesota, and South Dakota Sunday. He wraps it up Monday with stops in Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, and Texas. He will vote near his Texas ranch Tuesday, before returning to Washington to watch the election returns, and find out what sort of Congress he will be dealing with in the next two years.

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