MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE: The Republican presidential contenders spent Monday crossing the state in a final media blitz before the first polls open at 6 am E.S.T. Tuesday. With three of the top four candidates appearing on various morning talk shows Monday morning, Bob Dole was conspicuous in his absence. Alexander accused Dole of ducking interviews: "There have been more sightings of Elvis in New Hampshire than there have been of Senator Dole," Alexander said. "We've been out here every day," Dole shot back. "I don't know what his problem is. I hope he gets over it." Tracking polls show the candidates in much the same position they have been in for the past week: Bob Dole and Pat Buchanan in a tie for first, with Lamar Alexander firmly in third place and Steve Forbes in fourth and dropping fast. "It's usual in primaries for candidates to use these last days to really go in public after the undecided voter," says TIME's Tamala Edwards, travelling with the Dole campaign in New Hampshire. "But Dole seems to have decided not to spend any more time to go after the undecided vote. Instead, he is focusing on the true believers and spending today making sure that they will all get out and vote tomorrow." In one of his few scheduled public appearances Monday, Dole launched an attack on the protectionist trade stance of Pat Buchanan. At a high-tech computer company in Rochester, he said Buchanan's proposals would put the export-reliant plant out of business. "Dole looked better today than I've seen him in a long time," reports Edwards. "He's been taking things easy today, spending most of his time making sure that every bit of his large, well-organized campaign machinery in the state is working."
A Flood of EndorsementsDole got some good news today with the endorsement of Pennsylvania Senator and former GOP presidential hopeful Arlen Specter. Specter said that he disagreed with Buchanan on trade and felt Alexander was playing both sides of the abortion issue. "If you take the totality of his positions, I think he has the best program for America," Specter said of Dole. Specter's announcement came one day after Phil Gramm, who Dole once saw as his chief rival for the nomination, also threw his support to the Kansas Senator. The endorsement that may give Dole the biggest bounce in New Hampshire came today when former Boston Red Sox hero Ted Williams gave Dole the thumbs up.