Ronald Reagan's strategy-makers spent the week following the Republican convention charting their battle plans for the fall. Senior campaign officials agree that Reagan must focus hardest on 10 states, mostly in the industrial North: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Texas, and California.
Most of these are states where George Bush showed strength in GOP primaries.
Reagan planners also have targeted key voter groups for their candidate to ply for broader support; blacks, Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, and the working-class constituency.
Black and working-class voters will be wooed primarily with the promise of more jobs and economic growth under a Reagan administration.
Reagan's conservative stance on social issues such as the Equal Rights Amendment and abortion are thought to open the door to winning southern Baptists' votes from Jimmy Carter, whom they largely supported in 1976.m
Reagan got his $29.4 million in federal campaign funds despite a Carter-Mondale suit to hold them up.
The President's re-election campaign had sued to deny Reagan federal funds on the grounds that independent committees have been formed to spend well over the legal limits -- as much as $280 million -- on Reagan's behalf.
The Carter-Mondale contention was that while an individual can spend independently whatever he chooses for any candidate he chooses, organized committees should be included under campaign-finance limitations: Thus, these committees would make Reagan ineligible for federal funds.
Neither the Federal Election Commission nor the US Court of Appeals agreed with the position.
The FEC, however, has its own suit outstanding against the independent committees to stop their efforts to skirt campaign law.m
President Carter will come out of the probe of his brother's Libyan connection with his integrity intact, campaign staffers say. The President's strategy in handling the matter -- don't hide anything -- is based on avoiding the kinds of mistakes the Nixon administration made in handling Watergate.
The President issued a statement that both he and National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski would be available to testify before the Senate panel formed to investigate the affair.
Democratic members of the US House of Representatives seeking to throw open their party's convention reject White House charges that the move is really designed to give the presidential nomination to Sen. Edward Kennedy.
White House press secretary Jody Powell said the effort "is very clearly a Kennedy-inspired operation that attempts to take advantage of the President's difficulty right now" with his brother's Libyan ties.
"It just isn't true that this is a Kennedy thing." replied Rep. Michael Barnes of Maryland, spokesman for a group that met late last week to consider urging both Carter and Kennedy to release their convention delegates. "We're looking for the best possible way to defeat Reagan and to retain moderate policies in this country."
The names of Secretary of state Edmund Muskie and Vice-President Walter Mondale reportedly were mentioned in the discussions of possible alternatives to Carter and Kennedy.
Other Democratic leaders fear a convention split over rules, platform, and even nominee could fail to provide much of a springboard to the party's presidential candidate. Sens. Henry Jackson, John Culver, Birch Bayh, and Frank Church have said they won't even attend the big event, according to reports in the Wall street Journal.m
Kennedy told 250 of his New England delegates and alternates over the weekend that he "could not possibly by quiet" at the convention.
The Massachusetts senator, who has the support of about a third of the Democratic delegates, is still determined to fight on the convention floor the party rule binding delegates on the first ballot.
One of his interests is to have the debate on delegate binding and his minority reports on the platform appear on television in "prime time."
Top Kennedy and Carter aides -- in what they called a "good meeting" -- late last week discussed scheduling and procedures for the convention.