DRUDGE REPORT 2002®
XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX MON OCT 14, 2002 21:02:05 ET XXXXX
PRESSURE ON: WHITE HOUSE CONCERN OVER BROTHER BUSH; SEEN VULNERABLE IN ELECTION
A growing concern that Florida Governor Jeb Bush may be vulnerable in next month's election has become a near-obsession inside of the White House, top sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT.
"Democrats and the media will show no mercy if the president's brother is defeated," a top Bush insider said from Washington. "While no one wants to lose a state house, a win by [Democratic challenger Bill] McBride would be viewed as symbolic."
President Bush is determined to help his brother in the final weeks of the race, according to sources. Every effort is being made to avoid the embarrassment of a high-profile "Bush Loss."
White House guru Karl Rove, said to be increasingly preoccupied with the Florida state race, has argued that a Jeb defeat would not affect the president politically.
A new Zogby Poll released this weekend showed Jeb has the support of 48% of voters while McBride has the support of 45% -- a statistical dead heat. Bush's own internal polling also shows McBride in motion, campaign sources tell DRUDGE.
Democrats are seen as activated in the state, with the specter of Election 2000, and the voter debacle, motivating the party faithful.
Top political planners at the Democratic National Committee now believe a Bush defeat is in their reach. Party money is being funneled in to the state.
Chairman Terry McAuliffe has reportedly been telling colleagues: "We'll take one Bush at a time."
Filed By Matt Drudge
Reports are moved when circumstances warrant
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