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Saturday, July 24, 2004

Voters Are Very Settled, Intense And Partisan, and It's Only July

July 25, 2004

Voters Are Very Settled, Intense And Partisan, and It's Only JulyBy ROBIN TONER
OLUMBUS, Ohio — Clif Kelley, a retired economist, stood in the leafy backyard of his suburban home one recent evening and summoned his Democratic neighbors, 62 of whom were arrayed before him, to the political barricades.
"We firmly believe that another four years of Bush in the White House will do incredible damage to this country," declared Mr. Kelley, 87, imploring his neighbors to get involved, knock on doors, make sure their precinct (which went to President Bush by six votes four years ago) goes for Senator John Kerry this time around.
"I am one of those World War II veterans who are dying off at a rapid pace, and I can't stand the thought of dying under a Bush administration."
That same intensity was palpable the following day, in Beckley, W.Va., where thousands of people like Jim Farnsworth, a 32-year-old telephone technician holding his 1-month-old son, turned out for a rally with Mr. Bush. "Voted for him last time, will vote for him again, would even vote for him a third term if he would run," Mr. Farnsworth said. "I like the convictions that he stands on. Abortion, family."
His wife, Tina, chimed in, "His belief in God." Behind them, as far as the eye could see, snaked a line of like-minded voters, patiently waiting for hours in the scorching sun to see their president.
This is not the typical July of a presidential election year.

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