Campaign 2000

Joe Lavin's Humor Column

A Day on the Presidential Campaign Trail

October 31, 2000


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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 News.

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 says.

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 box.

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 done."

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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