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Into the home stretch now, today marks the bittersweet return of Al & Tipper Gore to Palm Beach County:

At a noon rally expected to draw several thousand people to the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach and later in Coconut Creek, Gore and his wife, Tipper, will prod Obama supporters to participate in early voting.  "They're trying to play to their base with a reminder that inaction, failure to vote, could lead to another disappointment like 2000," said Kevin Wagner, a political scientist at Florida Atlantic University in  Boca Raton.  Still, Wagner said, "there is a distinct possibility" that the effort could backfire. Bringing Gore here "could remind people that their vote didn't count and that the voting exercise didn't generate what they would perceive as a democratic outcome."  In addition, Wagner noted, Gore's presence could "strike reminders" for Republicans and turn them out to vote as well.

Well, maybe, but I am glad they are here and can't wait to hear them

Meanwhile, early voting continues, as the lines in Broward, Miami-Dade seem to get longer each day, despite the extended voting hours.

It looks like record turnout in Broward:

Data from Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes’ office shows the number of voters growing daily since early voting began on Oct. 20. On Wednesday, 27,168 early votes were cast. The Wednesday numbers are up from 20,513 cast Tuesday and 18,673 cast Monday. The first day of early voting saw 11,223 go to the polls. That means more people have now voted than did so in the August primary. About 109,000 people voted in the primary, but about 157,000 have voted so far in the Nov. 4 election. There are four days of early voting left so the county should well exceed the 176,000 early votes cast in 2004 election, the previous record.

Note that the daily number of early voters has nearly doubled since the start.  I'm glad I voted last week.

Republicans continue to criticize Gov. Crist for extending voting hours:

Both parties officially commended Crist for his decision on Tuesday, which expanded early voting from eight to 12 hours on weekdays to alleviate long lines at the polls. But there was immediate - if mostly off-the-record - grousing among some Republicans, given Sen. Barack Obama's perceived advantage with early voters.

McCain's Florida plans include $2 million on negative ads over the last few days:

One anti-Obama spot shows innocuous images of a plane taking off, children on a swing set and a doctor performing surgery and asks: ``Would you get on a plane with a pilot who has never flown? Would you trust your child with someone who has never cared for children? Would you go under with a surgeon who has never operated?''

And it seems that the names on Florida's infamous "no match, no vote" list include Fidel Castro, a Miami Heat NBA basketball player, and a candidate' wife.  The list is heavily skewed against likely Democratic voters: "Hispanics and blacks outnumbered non-Hispanics by more than six to one on the list in South Florida, and three to one statewide. Democrats outnumbered Republicans about four to one both locally and statewide."

Nevertheless, a former GOP state chairman acknowledges that McCain will need "voodoo magic" to win here.

Caroline Kennedy stumped for Obama yesterday at The Villages, the Republican stronghold where Sarah Palin drew her largest crowd.

RCP has Obama up here by only 3.5%, so let's keep working.

Originally posted to GreenCajun on Fri Oct 31, 2008 at 07:19 AM PDT.

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