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Campaign Diaries

Directing the Durham Vote

Bush re-election volunteer fundraiser Wade Eyerly. Photo: Sara Buhr for NPR

Mike Ashe says most people think you just set up an election and count the votes. But as director of the County Board of Elections in Durham, N.C., Ashe knows there's much more to pulling off a successful contest. He shares his insights on the ins and outs of ensuring a fair and efficient vote.

March 9, 2004

Cruising for Voters
Fred Foster

On election day in Durham, N.C., some local funeral homes send limousines out to search the streets for bodies. Not corpses, but warm bodies registered to vote and in need of a ride to the polls. The stylish transportation comes courtesy of community activist Fred Foster. He discusses his efforts to get out the vote.
March 9, 2004

Trying Out Politics
Members of Pat Lang's campaign staff.

Damon Boughamer talks about what he's learned about politics as the campaign manager for Pat Lang's bid for an Ohio state house seat. Boughamer says he likes shaping a campaign based on what's important to voters. The downside is, he's not making a dime.
March 2, 2004

Working the Phones for Bush
Robert Mack and his constant companion, an Edwards sign, at a victory party in South Carolina. Credit: Charlie Mayer, NPR News

So far, President Bush's re-election campaign has raised more than $132 million -- and some of the money in that war chest was raised by Wade Eyerly, a 24-year-old former stockbroker and full-time Bush campaign volunteer. He talks about hitting up old friends for donations.
March 2, 2004

The Front-Runner's Daughter
Robert Mack and his constant companion, an Edwards sign, at a victory party in South Carolina. Credit: Charlie Mayer, NPR News

Sen. John Kerry's campaign is flush with fresh endorsements and an army of volunteers. One of them is his youngest daughter, Vanessa. She talks about some quirkier moments with her dad.
February 26, 2004

A Sign-Holder's Tale
Robert Mack and his constant companion, an Edwards sign, at a victory party in South Carolina. Credit: Charlie Mayer, NPR News

At just about every event or campaign stop, there are young people holding up signs. Their mission: to get their candidate's name on television. High school senior Robert Mack, a volunteer for Sen. John Edwards' campaign, talks about why he signed up.
February 18, 2004

Covering Joe Lieberman

Matthew Berger, a reporter for a Jewish news wire, talks about what Sen. Joe Lieberman's candidacy meant to the Jewish community. He also describes what it's like to be a Jewish political reporter in a year when not only Lieberman, but Wesley Clark -- whose father was Jewish -- vied for the presidential nomination.
February 4, 2004

Folk Songs for Clark
Singer Jill Sobule. Credit: Andrew Warren

We hear from singer Jill Sobule, who takes her music on the campaign trail for Wesley Clark, but is playing to smaller audiences than expected.
February 1, 2004

Air Support
Air traffic controller Len Cushing at the Boire Field in Nashua, N.H. Credit: Charlie Mayer, NPR News

In the months leading up to the New Hampshire primary, presidential candidates log countless flights through the state's airports. Air traffic controller Len Cushing, who works at Boire Field in Nashua, has seen candidates come and go and shares his experience.
January 26, 2004

Kerry's Guitarist

As Rudy Guess, a guitarist, traveled to Manchester, N.H. to play for Sen. John Kerry's campaign events, he was delayed at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. He spent part of that layover talking with NPR's Robert Smith about playing on the campaign trail.
January 25, 2004

Paper or Plastic?
Carolyn Crean, a cashier at Sully's Superette in Goffstown, N.H. Credit: Scott Horsley, NPR News

After weeks of answering questions in New Hampshire, Democratic presidential hopeful Wesley Clark got to ask one of his own at Sully's Superette in Goffstown: paper or plastic? The retired general bagged groceries for cashier Carolyn Crean, who describes the experience.
January 23, 2004

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About the Diaries

Throughout the 2004 election season, NPR is presenting an intimate first-person look at the campaign.

In a series called Campaign Diaries, we'll hear accounts from passionate volunteers, from professional campaign workers, typical voters and election bystanders, people who organize campaign events or drive voters to the polls.

Politically Speaking

High-Anxiety Election: Good News for Incumbents

Ron Elving

Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving says incumbents often benefit in uneasy times.


Political Junkie

Dreading a Tie Vote in the Electoral College

Ken Rudin

NPR Political Editor Ken Rudin answers your questions. This week: What would happen if the Electoral College vote were tied.


The Candidates

Interviews, buzzwords, stump speeches and more from the 2004 contenders for the White House.

Campaign Events

July 26-29: Democratic National Convention, Boston

Aug. 30-Sept. 2: Republican National Convention, New York