Why Are Some Republican Pollster Worried About the Minority Vote?

This is a partial transcript from "The O'REILLY Factor," Oct. 28, 2004, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST:  Now for the top story tonight, the Republican polling firm Fabrizio,  McLaughlin and Associates says the election may be tilting to Senator Kerry because of the potential that more minority voters may go to the polls.

Joining us now from Washington is White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett.

So I had Mr. Fabrizio on "The Radio Factor today.  And you know, they  just did this big, big poll, showing a dead heat as — almost all the  national polls show.


O'REILLY:  But they say that if you overweight minorities for more  participation, then Kerry gets it.  What say you?

BARTLETT:  Well, we — I took a look at that poll in their press release.  And I think some of the underlining facts they have there are  wrong, particularly about the benchmark they used compared to 2000.

But setting that aside, many polls have come out and showed, you know,  President Bush only garnered only 8 percent of the African-American vote in 2000.  We've more than doubled that if you look in some of the polling  that's coming out now, closer to 20 percent.  I think that speaks — that  contradicts what Mr. Fabrizio's  polling says.

O'REILLY:  Yes, but I asked him that because I knew you would say  that.


O'REILLY:  And so I said, well, I got to think like Bartlett here and  I'm going to ask him that.  And he said, look, if it's running 80/20, you  know, even if Bush does get 20, and there's more participation, then  Kerry's going to gain even though it's a better situation in 2000.

But look, let's leave that aside.  Nobody knows what's going to   happen, how many people are going to turn out.


O'REILLY:  But I just wanted to point out that there is some angst a little bit about...

BARTLETT:  Well, I'll make — I just point out, don't take it from what I'm saying. Take it from what Senator Kerry's doing. He's spending every Sunday in African-American churches. He brings Bill  Clinton into  inner city Philadelphia.

O'REILLY:  You bet.

BARTLETT:  I think he knows that he's underperforming with that key  group...

O'REILLY:  Yes, he's got to get those people out. There is absolutely no question.


O'REILLY:  Now in the next four days, President Bush is going to do  what?  What's your strategy?  Where is he going to be?  What is he going to  say?

BARTLETT:  Well, I think we're going to be everywhere.  And if that doesn't sound possible, we will be.  I think in the next Friday,  Saturday,  Sunday, Monday, we'll be covering about 10 different states. And you know  the obvious states, Ohio, Florida,  Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, New Mexico.

But if you look at the map, and you look at the numbers that   we're  looking at, President Bush is going to spend more time in states that Al  Gore won in 2000, as opposed to states we won in 2000, demonstrating that  we're playing a little bit on the Democrats' turf as we go into this last  weekend.

O'REILLY:  All right, I got three states I want to know about.  New Jersey's in play...


O'REILLY:  ...which nobody thought.  Is he going to New Jersey?  Is he  going to spend any resources there?

BARTLETT:  Well, as you know, he did go there.  And the first lady's  been there.  And other members of our administration have been there or of  the Republican Party have been there.

And I think there is something going on there.  I don't know if it's  because of the problems with the Democrats there locally, but also, there's  a deep affiliation and connection with this president because of 9/11.  And  so I think there's something — a movement going on there.  And we're going  to try to maximize it for sure.

O'REILLY:  All right.  Colorado seems to be going for Kerry according  to the latest polls, which...


O'REILLY:  You don't see that?

BARTLETT:  No, not at all, actually.  And I think, again, we can all  come on and throw around a bunch of talking points, but money speaks a lot  louder than words.  And they pulled their advertising earlier this week in Colorado.  They canceled a trip for Senator Kerry there.  The tracking  polls from most news organizations show a comfortable lead for President  Bush.  So I wouldn't concern them.

O'REILLY:  All right, so you feel Colorado's a lock for you guys?

BARTLETT:  We're not going to take any vote for granted, but we do  believe President Bush has a substantial lead there.  And we think it's one  that will hold up on Election Day.

O'REILLY:  Now Ohio.

BARTLETT:  Uh-huh.

O'REILLY:  That's really the one that nobody really knows about,  right?

BARTLETT:  Well, it's going to be close, no question about it.  But  what we're seeing in our polling and what other news organizations are  showing is that President Bush — not only the course of the campaign has  shown the capability of breaking out with a much more substantial lead, but  we've been persistently right there.  We're going to spend a lot of time  there in the next few days.  And I'm confident, the president's confident.   And not only in our ground game, but our message there.  And I'm  guaranteeing a victory there on Tuesday.

O'REILLY:  You're guaranteeing a victory there, Mr. Bartlett?

BARTLETT:  Guaranteeing.

O'REILLY:  Wow, you and Muhammad Ali and Joe Namath.  What about  Arnold Schwarzenegger?  Is he going to show up and help you guys in Ohio?

BARTLETT:  Actually, he is.  As you probably know, he's got a long  history with particularly the city of Columbus.  He spent a lot of time  there when he first came to the States.  And he's going to join the  president and campaign there on Friday night.

Glad to have him there.  It's going to be exciting and be a good   opportunity for the president and Governor Schwarzenegger to  spread  President Bush's message.

O'REILLY:  You know, the president and Senator Kerry must be exhausted  by this point.  How do these guys — how much sleep does President Bush get  at night on — I mean...

BARTLETT:  Well, you're right.  It's at this point — I just talked to  them on the plane about the touchdown in Pennsylvania.  They're in their  fourth visit — fourth stop of the day in three different states.  You'll  see tomorrow.  Over the weekend, they'll be five stops a day, several  different counties.

You know, kind of momentum takes over.  And you take, you know, 30  minute naps or this or that just to catch up.  You know, he's in pretty  good shape, which helps a lot if you're in good athletic condition.  He  watches what he eats, takes a lot of vitamins, and washes his hands a lot.   You know, he's shaking a lot of hands around the state.

O'REILLY:  Yes.  You don't want the flu in the last couple of days.

BARTLETT:  No, you don't.

O'REILLY:  You bet.

BARTLETT:  No, exactly.  And he hasn't taken the flu shot either...

O'REILLY:  All right.

BARTLETT:  ...because he feels like he shouldn't be taking it if other  people can't.

O'REILLY:  Last question, have you guys held anything back that you're  going to spring on Kerry or a new ad?  Or you got any dirt on him or  anything like that we're going to see?

BARTLETT:  We're going to do it the old fashioned way.  We're going to  earn it.  We don't need any surprises.  All the surprises are coming from  everybody else.  That's fine.  We'll deal with them, but President Bush is  going to earn it the old fashioned way, and earn every vote.

O'REILLY:  All right.  So you didn't find any missing weapons in the  Commonwealth of Massachusetts or anything or nothing there?

BARTLETT:  Didn't even look.

O'REILLY:  All right.  Mr. Bartlett, thanks very much.  We appreciate  you taking the time this evening.

BARTLETT:  Thank you.

O'REILLY:  And remember, we — you know, continue to invite the Kerry  people, but you know, what are you going to do?

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