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  • America Votes

    Election news from across the Knight Ridder network and the Web

    Tuesday, October 05, 2004

    Campaign Focus Group 

    Tipton, Iowa – Press conference finished, Sen. John Kerry shucked his jacket and stood in the middle of a field tossing a football to staff members. As he threw, maybe 200 elementary school kids arrayed themselves in seven orderly ranks at the edge of the grass to watch.

    Kerry looked up. “God, those kids keep coming. Where are they coming from?” he said. “I’m gonna go over and see them, I guess.”

    The kids cheered as he strolled over, and Kerry bent down to give high low and medium fives. He crouched over and put his hands on his knees, leaning in closer to talk to them. He asked about classes and what was on their minds. They were remarkably attuned to the current political debate.

    “I want you to tell me what do you think is the most important issue
    right now, what most concerns you?" Kerry said.

    A chorus:

    “Who's going to be president."

    “Getting our troops out of Iraq."

    "If you become president, what the changes might be."

    "Health care."

    "How many of you think health care is a big issue?" Kerry said.

    A thicket of hands shot into the air.

    Senior adviser Mike McCurry joked that this was how the campaign picked what TV ads to run.


    posted by Thomas Fitzgerald at 7:47 PM



    This blog is compiled and edited by:

  • Ellen Dunkel, producer for Knight Ridder Digital's National Desk.
  • John Murrell, minister of information for SiliconValley.com.

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