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Clinton Races Across Eight States in Election Eve Blitz PRECEDE St

November 3, 1992 GMT

Clinton Races Across Eight States in Election Eve Blitz PRECEDE St. Louis With AM-Election Rdp, Bjt

McALLEN, Texas (AP) _ Bill Clinton raced across eight states and three time zones Monday in a round-the-clock sprint to Tuesday’s balloting, telling his biggest crowd - in President Bush’s home state - the election amounts to a ″race of opportunity against neglect.″

The Democratic nominee, hoarse from a streak of 20-hour days, sped between airport rallies in battleground states holding 126 electoral votes - nearly half what he needed to win.

Clinton barely uttered Bush’s name in his stops, but he contrasted his own vision of the future with the prospect of four more years of Republican rule.

″It’s a race against the courage to change against the comfort of the same old failed ideas,″ Clinton told a thousands-strong, late-night crowd in McAllen, stop No. 6 on a nine-city swing not scheduled to end until dawn in Denver on Tuesday.

Clinton was heading on to Fort Worth, his second Texas stop in hopes of snatching Texas’ 32 electoral votes from Bush. Texas was seen as essential for Bush if he is to win re-election.

Clinton courted the Hispanic vote in south Texas and exhorted his supporters to turn out at the polls.

″Your vote counts just as much as any billionaire, just as much as a president,″ he said in an oblique reference to Texas residents Bush and Ross Perot.

Earlier, in St. Louis, Clinton pledged to spend ″every waking hour″ on closing ″the gap in this country between what is and what ought to be.″

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And, referring to Bush, he took a dig at ″my opponent″ for the tone of the campaign.

″If they’d spent half as much time attacking the problems of America as they have attacking me, they’d be in better shape and so would you,″ he said.

Clinton invoked the names of presidents past to implore voters not to be afraid of change.

″Be faithful to the ideals of Jefferson and Washington; be faithful to the sacrifice of Abraham Lincoln; be faithful to the optimism of Franklin Roosevelt; be faithful to the faith in the future of John Kennedy,″ Clinton said.

And he promised that if voters put him in the White House, ″I will spend every waking hour I have to work my heart out to make sure we close the gap in this country between what is and what ought to be.″

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In Cleveland, Clinton predicted voters would ″drown out the negative voices that have held us back too long.″ He called for a new economic plan that focused on jobs, health care reform and educational improvements.

″No more trickle down. Not tax and spend, but put the American people first,″ he said.

Due to his hoarseness, Clinton also enlisted his wife, Hillary and Democratic National Chairman Ronald Brown to do part of the speaking.

Clinton’s voice, which all but disappeared over the weekend, seemed better but was still cracking. His Little Rock physician, Dr. James Y. Suen, was traveling aboard the Arkansas governor’s plane.

″You can see that I have nearly lost my voice trying to give you a voice in Washington,″ Clinton said in Cleveland.

And he added in Romulus, Mich., outside of Detroit, ″If you will be my voice tomorrow, I will be yours for four years.″

Through the day, he was greeted with chants of ″One More Day.″

Clinton started his final, 4,100-mile journey on election eve in Philadelphia, campaigning at a 1950s-style diner with a working-class, breakfast crowd. Ohio, Michigan, Missouri, Kentucky, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado were rounding out the trip. He was scheduled to return to Little Rock at mid-morning Tuesday to vote and await the verdict.

The candidate and his aides were oozing exuberance, although they didn’t want to admit it. Clinton introduced Hillary Clinton as the ″next first lady,″ the first time he’s done that.

Clinton, a master at catnaps, was trying to get rest on the plane between stops and kept his comments relatively short. Still, aides had a hard time keeping him in check. One groused about Clinton’s decision to attend a 12:30 a.m. rally Monday in Cherry Hill, N.J., where the candidate grabbed a saxophone and played with the rock ‘n’ roll band that was there.