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Thu., Oct. 10, 1996

Dole gets no roll


Three national polls released Wednesday found Republican Bob Dole got no lift from the first presidential debate, leaving him far behind President Clinton less than four weeks before Election Day.

A CBS News poll gave three significant clues why Clinton has a big advantage: More Americans (66 percent) than at any time since 1988 believe the economy is in good shape; Clinton’s job-approval rating has hit 61 percent, a high for his presidency; and nearly two-thirds say Dole would not enact a 15 percent tax cut, the centerpiece promise of his campaign.

A CNN-USA Today-Gallup tracking poll finds Clinton gaining slightly in the past week as the candidate who would do the best job of handling taxes - now 43 percent say that of Clinton, 32 percent of Dole and 13 percent of Ross Perot - and as sharing voters’ views on the size and role of government.

The polls, all conducted Monday and Tuesday after Sunday’s first debate, found these results when respondents were asked for whom they would vote if the presidential election were today:

ABC: Clinton 54 percent, Dole 38 percent, Perot 5 percent (848 likely voters; sampling error margin plus or minus 4 percentage points.)

CNN-USA Today-Gallup: Clinton 55, Dole 34, Perot 6 (741 likely voters, plus or minus 4 points). CBS: Clinton 56, Dole 35, Perot 5 (972 registered voters, plus or minus 3 points).

The Boss says no to Dole


Rocker Bruce Springsteen is trying to set the record straight - he is not backing Dole for president.

The Dole bus blared Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.” on Monday, as the campaign caravan rolled into Red Bank, one town away from Rumson, where Springsteen owns a home.

On Tuesday, Springsteen faxed a statement to the Asbury Park Press through his publicist.

“I read in The Press this morning that my music was appropriated for the Republican rally for Bob Dole in Red Bank yesterday. Just for the record, I’d like to make clear that it was used without my permission and I am not a supporter of the Republican ticket,” the message said, according to its reproduction in Wednesday’s editions of the newspaper, which is published in Neptune.

W. Drew Kastner, a Westfield attorney who specializes in entertainment copyright law, told the newspaper that technically speaking the use of the song was an illegal public performance without a license.

And a voter card on the side


Cheeseburger, fries, and a voter registration card, please.

Motorists who cruise into drive-throughs at nine McDonald’s restaurants in southern Maine on Thursday will be offered voter registration cards.

The cards can be returned to the participating restaurants on Thursday, or mailed to municipal registrars, who must receive them by Oct. 21.

Secretary of State Bill Diamond said the idea was sparked by a 1989 newspaper cartoon that poked fun at his past voter registration efforts.

The cartoon depicted him offering hamburgers, french fries and voter registration cards at a fast-food drive-through window.

“I kind of kept it in the back of my mind, and finally, we were able to implement it,” said Diamond.

Maine had the highest voter turnout in the nation in the 1992 presidential election, when 73 percent of the eligible population went to the polls.

Perot begs to differ


Refusing to accept the role of wallflower at the presidential debates, Ross Perot argued Wednesday that Dole also should be excluded from the remaining faceoff because of his low poll numbers.

Perot campaign coordinator Russ Verney made the case in a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates, which excluded Perot after determining he did not have a realistic chance of being elected.

“Clearly, the American electorate - the ultimate decision makers in this process - have decided Bob Dole does not belong in your presidential debates, according to your own ‘objective’ criteria. Perot/Choate ‘96 therefore petitions you to exclude Bob Dole from further debates sponsored by the commission,” Verney said in his letter to the commission.

Verney added that Perot should be invited to the last presidential debate to be held Oct. 16.

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