Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Campaign Winding Down; Voters Poised to Make Decisions

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Campaign Winding Down; Voters Poised to Make Decisions

Article excerpt

Even the shouting is almost over.

After months of listening to candidates - or trying not to - the voters take over at 6 a.m. Tuesday. That's when polls open in Missouri and Illinois. And when they close at 7 p.m., hard results will make hay or hash of all the hopes.

In the greater St. Louis area, local election officials predict voter turnouts of 45 percent to 55 percent in the Metro-East area, and 50 percent to 60 percent in the St. Louis area.

Driving the interest are competitions for the top jobs in Illinois, and a combination of a lively race for U.S. Senate and marquee constitutional amendments in Missouri.

Voters in both states also will choose members of Congress, state legislators, many local officials and a few local tax issues.

The National Weather Service's Election Day forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and a high in the mid-60s. The next round of rain isn't forecast until Tuesday night.

In Missouri's senate race, Republican nominee and former governor John Ashcroft skipped eastward from St. Joseph to Kirksville to Hannibal on what he calls his "Forgotten Middle" tour. In Kirksville, he told supporters, "We have a spirit in Missouri, free and independent. But they've lost that spirit in Washington . . . ."

U.S. Rep. Alan Wheat, D-Kansas City and his party's nominee, made several campaign stops in St. Louis with city Circuit Clerk Mavis Thompson, who is seeking re-election.

Wheat sought to link Aschroft with Amendment 7, the "Hancock II" proposal to expand the Missouri Constitution's tax limitation. Ashcroft held fast to his no-opinion position on Hancock II.

Wheat said Sunday, "When John Ashcroft was governor, he was known as a do-nothing. Today he's a know-nothing."

Bill Johnson, the Libertarian candidate, was a guest on two TV shows and then shook hands at the Crown Center, an indoor shopping mall south of downtown Kansas City.

"Nothing" also was a Democratic term in Illinois, where Democratic gubernatorial candidate Dawn Clark Netsch said that Gov. Jim Edgar "has done nothing for four years. I mean nothing about nothing," she said at several campaign stops in the Quad Cities, Peoria and Rockford.

In Chicago, Edgar said Netsch was "in the final hours of a campaign that hasn't gone well . …

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