Gore Urges Vermont To Send Backus To the US Senate

MORE than 300 Democrats crowded an airport hangar in South Burlilngton, Vt., Saturday to hear Vice President Al Gore Jr. urge Vermont to send Jan Backus to Washington and help keep Republicans from winning the Senate.``Does Vermont want to give the Republicans control of the Senate and empower Bob Dole to bring us back to trickle-down economics?'' Gore's theme echoed a message pushed by Democrats repeatedly in recent weeks: That even though Sen. James Jeffords is considered a moderate Republican, he should be defeated. Republicans also rallied Saturday, marching with incumbent Jeffords from the University of Vermont to Burlington City Hall.

Romney says he can pull it off

REPUBLICAN Mitt Romney, insisting his race against US Sen. Edward Kennedy is closer than polls indicate, barnstormed through northeastern Massachusetts Saturday with the rest of the GOP ticket. ``People will do different things in the voting booth than they may tell the pollster, particularly in a state as Democratic as it is,'' Mr. Romney said between stops.

After polls in mid-October indicated that the race between the 32-year Democratic incumbent and the Belmont venture capitalist was a dead heat, Mr. Kennedy pulled ahead around Oct. 20, with independent polls now giving him a 15-point lead.

Kennedy, reinforcing his claim that he wields mighty influence in Washington, announced a $330- million federal grant for a mass transit loop that will link Boston's South Station with its new federal courthouse and World Trade Center. ``We're going back [to the Senate] to continue for a bigger, a better, a busier Boston,'' a confident Kennedy told about 60 union masons.

Mrs. Clinton in Hartford

FIRST lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was in Connecticut Saturday to stump for Democrat William E. Curry Jr. as governor, telling a state Capitol rally that he would move the state forward while his Republican rival would ``turn back the clock.''

Echoing a theme of the past week, Mrs. Clinton urged voters not to back A Connecticut Party candidate Eunice S. Groark if they want to avoid costing Mr. Curry the election in favor of Republican John G. Rowland.

A spokesman for Mr. Rowland called the first lady's remarks about the GOP a ``sort of an anti-intellectual, dopey observation.''

It was the fourth time in about a month that a member of the Clinton administration had been in the state to campaign for Democratic candidates.

Surrounded by female legislative candidates, US Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Barbara B. Kennelly, and US Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, Mrs. Clinton urged a return to Democratic control. Democrats were ousted from the governor's office in 1990 - after a 16-year reign -

by Republican-turned-independent Lowell P. Weicker Jr. The day's events occurred on the 20th anniversary of the election of Gov. Ella Grasso, the country's first woman elected governor in her own right.

Curry was seeking to shore up support among women,with some polls indicating support for Rowland among women is shrinking.

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