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John Anderson's ship has yet to come in, but a lifeboat is on its way -- a $ 350,000 loan from a New York bank. His Sept. 21 debate performance didn't translate into a visible upturn in the opinion polls, but this week could bring in a flotilla of bank loans to give him renewed campaign leverage.

The money is key to Anderson's plans to launch a TV ad campaign in mid-October.

The loans are based on the candidate's prospects of drawing at least 5 percent in national election, hence qualifying retroactively for federal campaign money. The Federal Elections Commission will issue an opinion Thursday on whether the loans are actually contributions and therefore illegal.

The New Republic magazine is endorsing Anderson in its Oct. 4 issue -- only the second time in the liberal magazine's history it has failed to back a Democrat. The first time was in 1968, when it withheld its endorsement entirely.m

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