Trail Tales: Gore Returns to Florida

The election is 11 days away. While President Bush (search) was taking a whirlwind tour through Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida on Friday, Sen. John Kerry (search) was stumping in Wisconsin and Nevada. A flurry of polls are coming out, showing the two candidates in a statistical dead heat on the national level. Will we see another Florida this year?

Gore on the Stump

Former Vice President Al Gore (search) will campaign for Kerry in Florida this weekend, FOX News has confirmed. But the current Democratic presidential candidate and Gore will not be campaigning together in the state that was the key to Bush's victory four years ago.

There are also tentative plans for former President Bill Clinton (search) to campaign for Kerry in Broward County, Fla., on Tuesday. The former president will be campaigning with the Massachusetts senator in Philadelphia on Monday.

"Al Gore has a contagious sort of energy right now -- he's still obviously angry form the past and he can go there [to Florida] and be a good symbol for voters," former presidential adviser David Gergen told FOX News on Friday. "I think it's a smart thing to have him down there."

Kerry was joined Friday at his Milwaukee speech on women's issues by Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg. The speech was targeted towards women but will be more broadly about strengthening the American family, making work pay, and other "family" issues.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) has plans to campaign for Bush next weekend, likely in Ohio.

Gore has been unofficially stumping for Kerry for months now, although he's been a little more angry and hostile toward the Bush administration in his speeches than the Kerry camp may have liked, political insiders have said. He's also helped the Democratic Party in its fundraising efforts.

On Monday, Gore delivered a scathing 38-page critique at Georgetown University where he accused the administration of "incompetence, cronyism and corruption."

A bit later, Gore continued: "How could a team so skilled in politics be so bumbling and incompetent when it comes to policy? The same insularity and zeal that makes them effective at smash-mouth politics makes them terrible at governing. The Bush-Cheney administration is a rarity in American history. It is simultaneously dishonest and incompetent."

In September, the Tennesseean delivered another slam at the Republicans, faulting Vice President Dick Cheney (search) for "sleazy and despicable" criticism of the Democrats. Gore has skewered Bush's team for moral cowardice, the "lowest sort of politics imaginable," aligning itself with "digital brownshirts" who intimidate the press, and political tactics as craven as those of Richard Nixon.

On Kerry's Trail

Bush Against Electricity?

Kerry went hunting Thursday morning in Boardman, Ohio. The Massachusetts senator was heard to say, everybody got one, in reference to geese. He was asked where his goose corpse was as he was empty handed, except for his shotgun and he said, "I'm too lazy. We're still giddy over the Red Sox, it was hard to focus."

Later, in Youngstown, Ohio, Kerry -- who was introduced by the widow of actor Christopher Reeve, who was a proponent of embryonic stem cell research -- made a speech on science, which accused the incumbent of, among other things, being against … electricity?

"You get the feeling my friends, you really get this feeling, that if George Bush had been president during other periods of American history, he would have sided with the candle lobby against electricity, he would have been with the buggy-makers against the cars, and the typewriter companies against the computers," said the Democratic challenger.

Who's Minding the Store?

Kerry's running mate, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards (search), was on the stump in Muscatine, Iowa, on Thursday, where he complained of Bush officials like Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice talking in battleground states.

"Who is minding the store, I mean really?" Edwards asked. "There is a solution to this though - there is a solution to this problem and that solution in America is called Election Day."

On Bush's Trail

In Hershey, Penn., Thursday Bush had a little fun with Kerry's hunting trip in Ohio earlier that morning. At the end of his usual exposition of his challenger's "liberal" record, the president said "he can run, he can even run in camo[flage], but he cannot hide."

Kerry's 'October Disguise'

Cheney was in Sylvania, Ohio, Thursday morning for a rally and he opened his remarks with some comments on Kerry's hunting expedition.

"I understand he bought a new camouflage jacket for the occasion, which did make me wonder how regularly he does go goose hunting," said the vice president, who is an avid hunter. "My personal opinion is that his new camo jacket is an October disguise, an effort he is making to hide the fact that he votes against gun owner rights at every turn."

"Senator Kerry's spokesman says that the hunting trip and going watching baseball games are part of an end of the campaign plan to quote 'give a better sense of John Kerry the guy' end quote. Of course he does need a little image repair along those lines. You know he said his favorite Boston Red Sox player was Eddie Yost, but of course Yost never played for the Red Sox and Senator Kerry is the guy who thinks that Buckeye football is played in Michigan."

No Hard Feelings

First lady Laura Bush was in New London, N.H., Thursday and responded to Teresa Heinz Kerry's remarks in USA Today, where she said Mrs. Bush had never held a "real job" since she's been "grown up."

"It doesn't matter to me, I mean it didn't hurt my feelings, it was perfectly all right," Mrs. Bush said. "She apologized but she really didn't need to apologize. I know how tough it is and actually I know those trick questions too."

Poll Watch

Neck and Neck

A national poll of 772 likely voters found that Bush has a slim 1 percentage point lead over Kerry, 48 percent to 47 percent. An earlier Marist poll released Oct 7 had Bush with a 3 percentage point lead. The latest poll, conducted Oct. 17-19, gave independent candidate Ralph Nader 1 percent, while another 4 percent were unsure.

Another national poll released by The Associated Press/Ipsos Public Affairs found that Kerry was the one with the 1 percentage point lead, 47 percent to Bush's 46 percent. But the race is a statistical dead heat, with the margin of error +/-2.5 percentage points. Nader got 3 percent while another 4 percent were unsure, in the poll of 1,330 registered voters, conducted Oct. 18-20. A previous AP poll, released Oct. 7, had Bush and Kerry tied with 47 percent.

Among 976 likely voters surveyed by AP/Ipsos, Kerry got 49 percent, Bush got 46 percent, Nader got 2 percent and 3 percent were unsure. The numbers now are closer than the Oct. 7 poll, which put Kerry at 50 percent support and Bush at 46 percent.

In the latest poll, 47 percent said they approve of the way Bush is handling his job, while 52 percent disapprove. Of the 1,540 adults surveyed in the next survey, 41 percent said the country is headed in the right direction, 56 percent said it's headed in the wrong direction and another 3 percent were unsure.

Bush Ahead in More State Polls

As for the state polls, Bush has a slim lead over Kerry among 800 likely Florida voters, according to a Quinnipiac University poll conducted Oct. 15-19. Bush has 48 percent, compared to Kerry's 47 percent and Nader's 1 percent. Bush's lead has slipped there since Oct. 7, when he had 51 percent support and Kerry had 44 percent.

Bush has a larger lead in Arizona, according to an Arizona Republic poll conducted Oct. 18-19 of 600 likely voters. The president has 47 percent, compared to Kerry's 40 percent. Another 13 percent were unsure.

And in Colorado, a MSNBC-Knight Ridder/Mason-Dixon poll gives Bush 49 percent support over Kerry's 43 percent. That poll of 625 likely voters was conducted Oct. 14-16. Nader got 1 percent, while 7 percent were unsure. Another poll of 625 likely Missouri voters, conducted Oct. 14-16 by the same company, gave Bush 49 percent, Kerry 44 percent and 7 percent were unsure. In the Show Me State, Bush had 48 percent support in that poll released Sept. 18, while Kerry had 41 percent.

A Mason-Dixon poll of 625 likely North Carolina voters, taken Oct. 18-19, gives Bush 51 percent, Kerry 43 percent and 6 percent were unsure. That poll of 625 likely voters in Ohio, taken Oct. 14-16, has Bush at 46 percent, Kerry at 45 and 9 percent were unsure. Among 625 likely West Virginia voters, Bush had 49 percent, Kerry had 44 percent and 7 percent were unsure.

Ad Wars

Ad: 'Who Knows?"

Sponsor: Republican National Committee

Voiceover: John Kerry says we have to get back to the place

(Still of Kerry. On screen: TERRORISTS ARE A NUISANCE)

where terrorists are a nuisance


like gambling and prostitution.

(still of Kerry. On screen: TERRORISTS A NUISANCE?)

Terrorists a nuisance?

(VO of man with rocket launcher ... On screen: WAR)

Terrorists have declared war on America

(VO of Usama Bin Laden in cave with followers ... On screen: MURDERING AMERICANS) brutally murdering Americans.

(still of Kerry. On screen: AGAINST TERRORISM IS JOHN KERRY WEAK?)

Against terrorism, is John Kerry too weak?

(still of Kerry. On screen: JOHN KERRY VOTED AGAINST BODY ARMOR)

He voted against funding our troops denying them the safety of body armor.

(still of Kerry. On screen: TERRORISM WHAT WOULD JOHN KERRY DO?)

What would John Kerry do as president? No one knows. John Kerry doesn't even know.

Ad: 'Envision'

Sponsor: The Media Fund

(Visuals of people of all races and ages, ending with a little girl holding an American flag under the "Kerry & Edwards" on screen)

Voice over: Envision a country no longer divided. Envision a country respected in the world again. Envision a country where people who want work can find work. Envision a country led by hope not fear. Envision a country united again and stronger than ever.

On screen: Kerry & Edwards

They can see it, can you?

Ad: 'Indecision'


(On screen: man at used car lot handing check to salesman sees another car go by and it turns his head)

Voice over: There is nothing wrong with making a decision and then changing your mind

(same man at wedding is about to kiss bride then notices the bridesmaid and kisses her instead)

Voice over: But if you never commit to what you believe in who will ever commit to you

(Kerry raising right hand then left hand as CGs appear over his hands titled: Iraq; Patriot Act; $87 billion; terrorism; taxes)

John Kerry has changed his mind on all these important issues

(same man defusing a bomb but he can't decide which wire to cut and it explodes)

Voice over: Now there's nothing wrong with a little indecision as long as your job doesn't involve any responsibility

(Kerry raising right hand then left hand as CGs appear over his hands titled: Welfare Reform; Patriot Act)

Voice over: John Kerry has changed his mind time and time again

(man kissing the bridesmaid he drops her and starts kissing the older lady playing the organ)

Voice over: If you thought you could trust him

(Kerry raising right hand then left hand as CGs appear over his hands titled: NAFTA; Death for Terrorists; China; Cuba)

Voice over: You might want to change your mind too

(man looking at preacher, preacher runs away)

Funny Files

"Late Night with Conan O'Brien":

"Yesterday, former President Clinton sent an e-mail to Democrats that said, 'There is so much riding on the outcome of this election.' Unfortunately, Clinton accidentally used his private e-mail logon, StudCracker34."

"Earlier today, John Kerry went hunting for geese in Ohio, but President Bush says Kerry only did it for the photo op. The weird part is that Bush said this while wearing a flight suit and standing on the deck of an aircraft carrier."

"In Florida, voting in the presidential election started two weeks early. Senior citizens are already reporting problems with the voting machines. Apparently the seniors are confused because when they pull the lever, no quarters come out."

"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno":

"Neither Bush or Kerry have gotten a flu shot and both said today they won't get one. Ralph Nader also said he wasn't getting a flu shot. Though in his case he doesn't need one because he doesn't come in contact with any large crowds."

"Both candidates are trying to scare voters for votes in the last weeks of the campaign. And they're doing a pretty good job. Voters are petrified that on Nov. 2, they're actually going to have to pick one of these guys. What's scarier than that?"

"The Kerry campaign announced today they will have 10,000 lawyers at the polls in battleground states. Ten thousand lawyers. Well, let's hope you don't slip and fall on the sidewalk outside a polling place. You could be buried alive in business cards."

"It's getting ugly and uglier out there -- Teresa Heinz Kerry said she doesn't know if Laura Bush has ever held a real job. Laura Bush fired back. She said she was busy raising three kids -- Barbara, Jenna, and George W. That is a full-time job."

"John Kerry went hunting today. He said he killed a goose. He didn't bring Teresa along because he was a little rusty and he was afraid he might kill the goose that laid the golden egg."

"Late Show with David Letterman":

"John Kerry went duck hunting and he's doing that to fulfill his campaign pledge to hunt down the ducks and kill them wherever they are! Kerry did pretty well; he came back with four ducks and three Purple Hearts."

"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart":

"But the administration is fighting back against the flu ... criticism. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson, sought to pre-empt panic by noting, quote: 'We've successfully worked through vaccine supply problems in the past and we're doing so this time as well. We need all of us to take a deep breath.'

Adding, 'On second thought, make that a shallow breath. Preferably through a gauze pad."'

FOX News' Catherine Loper, Liza Porteus, Corbett Riner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.