Election Day Sale

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UNITED STATES: Bring out the flags, the bunting, the marching bands it's Election Day again. And though this is an off-year, countless local and state races, as well as a raft of ballot initiatives on issues such as medical marijuana, assisted suicide and affirmative action should serve to get the vote out. Or at least some of it.

By the way, the Republicans have already won. "Usually at the end of these campaigns, the party with the most money wins," conceded President Clinton on the fund-raising trail. That means the GOP and though it's traditional for Democrats to be outspent, the margin this year was huge. The RNC plowed millions of dollars in soft (and extremely quiet) money into the big races: governorships in New Jersey and Virginia; a House seat in Staten Island.

But the biggest big-money title fights are in Washington State, where George Soros has put up $335,000 in support of a medical marijuana initiative, while Steve Forbes spent $70,000 against. Also, Bill Gates ($185,000) and the NRA ($2 million) are going head-to-head over handgun safety. Using the Clinton test and totaling up the campaign dollars, we can see that Soros and the NRA have won. What? You thought the voters actually mattered in all of this?

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