Thursday, November 02, 2000

Big crowd expected for Barbara Bush visit

By Howard Wilkinson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Neither George W. Bush nor Al Gore is likely to be back in Southwest Ohio before Tuesday's election, but the Republican presidential candidate is sending his mother to Butler County.

        Barbara Bush will attend a Republican rally at 3 p.m. Sunday in the gymnasium of Lakota East High School.

        Butler County Republican Party officials are planning for an overflow crowd of about 4,000.

        The gymnasium holds about 2,500 people, but sound and video may be piped into the school's corridors and outside the school building for the overflow, said Butler County GOP chairman Carlos Todd.

        “Mrs. Bush should be quite a draw,” Mr. Todd said. “People love her.”

        Admission to the GOP rally will be by ticket only. The party will announce plans for ticket distribution today.

        The event two days before the election is meant to drum up get-out-the-vote enthusiasm for the Bush-Cheney ticket in one of the most heavily Republican areas of the state.

        The University of Cincinnati's Ohio Poll released last week showed the Bush-Cheney ticket with an 8-percentage point lead statewide in the race for Ohio's 21 electoral votes. In the Cincinnati area, the Bush-Cheney lead was 29 percentage points.

        The steadiness of Mr. Bush's Ohio lead over the past month has kept both major candidates out of the Buckeye State and in crucial states where the race is tighter.


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