Election Diary

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The Independent US

* Could Democrats stage a surprise Senate upset in Kentucky? Rumours are swirling about the mental condition of the incumbent Republican (and baseball Hall of Fame pitcher) Jim Bunning, who has accused his Democratic opponent of looking "like the sons of Saddam Hussein". Suspicions were fuelled when Mr Bunning, 72, refused to debate Daniel Mongiardo face to face, staying in Washington and surreptitiously using a teleprompter for his answers. A poll has them tied at 43-43. A Mongiardo win would greatly improve the chances of the Democrats regaining control of the Senate.

* Could Democrats stage a surprise Senate upset in Kentucky? Rumours are swirling about the mental condition of the incumbent Republican (and baseball Hall of Fame pitcher) Jim Bunning, who has accused his Democratic opponent of looking "like the sons of Saddam Hussein". Suspicions were fuelled when Mr Bunning, 72, refused to debate Daniel Mongiardo face to face, staying in Washington and surreptitiously using a teleprompter for his answers. A poll has them tied at 43-43. A Mongiardo win would greatly improve the chances of the Democrats regaining control of the Senate.

* Early voting started this week - with few surprises. In Florida, the expanded 16-day voting period, intended to prevent a repeat of the fiasco in 2000, opened on Monday with a 10-minute computer crash and predictable complaints about voter registration verification, all under the scrutiny of armies of lawyers. No shocks in Houston, Texas, either where early voters included a certain former first couple. "We love voting for our son," Barbara Bush said after she and George H W cast their electronic ballots.

* The rumpus continues over a fiercely critical "documentary" about John Kerry's anti-Vietnam war activities to be aired this weekend by the 62 TV stations of the Sinclair broadcasting group. The company fired Jon Lieberman, its Washington bureau chief, yesterday after he criticised the programme, Stolen Honor: Wounds That Never Heal in the Baltimore Sun. The show was "biased political propaganda, with clear intentions to sway this election," he wrote.

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