Trail Tales: The Sport of Politics

The election is two days away. A possible omen for Election Day comes in the form of another Redskins loss on Sunday.

Since 1936, the outcome of the Redskins' last home game before the election has correctly predicted the winner of the election. Every time the Redskins have won, the incumbent party has also won. Likewise, every Washington loss has been matched by a victory by the challenging party.

On Sunday, the Redskins played the Green Bay Packers at home. Final score: Packers 28, Redkins 14.

Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (search) expressed his pleasure with the Redskins' loss. "I thought the Red Sox curse erased everything. I'll take anything we can get. Yay, Packers.

"I think it's a good tradition to follow and I think the country should stick with tradition, don't you?" Kerry added.

However, the impact of athletes and sports teams may mean nothing. Though the Red Sox, Kerry's hometown team, ended their 86-year hiatus from winning the World Series last week, star pitcher Curt Schilling taped a recorded phone message for President Bush (search), urging people to get out and vote on Tuesday.

In the message, Schilling says: "Hello. This is Curt Schilling of the World Champion Boston Red Sox. That sounds good, doesn't it? Well, I am calling on behalf of President Bush. These past couple of weeks, Sox fans all throughout New England trusted me when it was my turn on the mound. Now you can trust me on this: President Bush is the right leader for our country. Tuesday is Election Day. So, please join me in voting for President Bush."

Not to be beat, Kerry appeared at a campaign rally in Manchester, N.H., on Sunday with Red Sox owner John Henry, Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein.


It's not uncommon for candidates to make last-minute changes to their travel schedules to take advantage of a state that all of a sudden comes into play or to shore up support in a state that was supposed to be safe.

The latter applies to a late travel change for Kerry.

The Democratic presidential candidate has added Michigan to his schedule on Monday and aides acknowledged that it's tighter there than they had expected. Last week, the Kerry campaign increased their advertising buy in Michigan for the final week by $500,000 dollars.

Kerry strategists thought the state was safe 10 days ago and did not plan to visit Michigan as recently as last Monday. Now they will go there on the eve of the election.

Four years ago, Michigan supported Democrat Al Gore. The last time the state voted Republican was for the first Bush in the White House, George H.W. Bush, in 1988.

Perhaps He Found His Luggage

Before traveling from Miami to Tampa, the lead reporter traveling with the Bush campaign spotted senior political adviser Karl Rove (search) excitedly running and hopping up the stairs of Air Force One. Later in the day, Rove told reporters he thinks Bush will win the popular vote and the Electoral College (search). However, Rove gave no indication that a connection could be made between the excited moment caught on camera and the adviser's latest comment to the press.

Happy Holloween

A man wearing a John Kerry T-shirt and Bush mask at an election office in Gainesville, Ga., was charged with disorderly conduct for breaking a law that bans campaigning outside polling places, police said.

Kevin Dodds also was charged with the seldom-invoked crime of wearing a mask. A Georgia law aimed at the Ku Klux Klan makes it illegal to wear masks except on "holidays and special occasions."

The case started Friday, the last day of Georgia's early voting period, when Dodds' wife went to vote accompanied by an infant wearing a Kerry-Edwards shirt. Poll workers asked the woman to turn the child's shirt inside out.

Later that day, Kevin Dodds went to the polling place saying he wanted to protest the objection to the baby's shirt. A police report said Dodds stood outside screaming, sometimes using foul language, and refused requests to take off his mask.

When Dodds, 35, was arrested, he "reeked of alcohol," said police Sgt. Chris Robinson.

Poll workers didn't get his wife's name. A phone call to a listing for Kevin and Susan Dodds was not immediately returned.

State law prohibits campaigning within 150 feet of a polling site. Signs outside polling places explain the law, which even bans voters from wearing stickers promoting a candidate.

All the charges are misdemeanors, punishable by up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Poll Watch

New Hampshire

Four years ago, this was the only Northeastern state to vote for Bush. This time, Kerry may walk away with the four electoral votes. A Concord Monitor/Research 2000 poll showed 49 percent support for Kerry and 46 percent for Bush with 2 percent for Ralph Nader (search).


Analysts say this is one of the three most important states on Tuesday with the other two being Florida and Pennsylvania. Whoever wins two of the three will win the White House, according to pundits. Bush won in 2000 and holds a 48-45 lead in support over Kerry in a Plain-Dealer/Mason-Dixon poll, but the margin of error puts the race for 20 electoral votes almost in a dead heat.


The second point in the three-state triangle went for Gore in 2000. Kerry holds a one-point edge in support over Bush, 48-47 percent. The victor will win 21 electoral votes.


The candidates have all but forgotten about the Peach State for a reason. Bush has a 10-point edge over Kerry in an Atlanta Constitution-WSB/Zogby poll and is expected to capture its 15 electoral votes. Bush won the state four years ago.


The situation from Georgia is reversed in Illinois, which has 21 electoral votes, as Kerry has a 14-point edge over Bush in a WEEK-TV-Pentagraph News/Research 2000 poll. The state delivered its 21 electoral votes to Democrat Al Gore in 2000.

FOX News' Carl Cameron, Corbett Riner and The Associated Press contributed to this report.