Gore and Bush Gain Delegate Strength on Weekend Wins
(CNSNews.com) - Vice President Al Gore and Texas Gov George W Bush inched closer to their parties' presidential nominations following weekend victories in several state primaries.
In Arizona, the first state to permit voters to cast ballots over the Internet, Gore received 78 percent of the tally, while former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley, who withdrew from the race last week, managed 20 percent. An estimated 35,000 voters made their decision through cyberspace.
In Saturday's Michigan caucuses, Gore received 15,854 votes, or 107 delegates to the Los Angeles Convention, to Bradley's 3,117 votes, or seven delegates.
In Minnesota caucuses, Gore won nearly 75 percent of the vote, to 12 percent for Bradley.
Gore also spent Saturday morning in an hour-long breakfast meeting, at a Minneapolis hotel, with Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura. Gore insisted he did not seek the former TV wrestler's endorsement, and Ventura insisted he did not give it.
According to Gore, the two discussed campaign finance reform. Asked by reporters whether he voiced criticism of the vice president's role in raising "soft money" during the 1996 election campaign, Venture responded, "You've got to play within the rules of the football game...whatever the rules are. You can't really criticize someone for playing with the set of rules the game is at when you begin. But the vice president and I agree that the rules need to be changed and there needs to be a cleaning up, a cleaning up of campaign finance in this country."
Gore agreed and added, "As you all know, the voices that got the most recognition at advocating campaign finance reform were John McCain and Bill Bradley...I want to raise that banner higher.
"Not only because of the obvious political reasons, that I want to give a home to those voters who were strongly supporting of McCain and Bradley because of that issue. I acknowledge that is part of what is going on here. But also because I believe in it and because I was advocating it before they dropped out of the race and because I advocated it 23 years ago in my very first term in Congress," Gore added.
While in Minnesota, Gore also received endorsements from former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Bradley supporter, Sen. Paul Wellstone.
In other contests, Bush and Gore won their respective contests in Utah and Colorado, while Bush also won the Wyoming caucuses.
In Colorado, Bush received 65 percent of the vote, to McCain's 27 percent. Alan Keyes managed seven percent. In the Democratic contest, Gore took 71 percent of the votes, while Bradley received 23 percent.
In Utah, Bush polled 63 percent, Keyes 20 percent and McCain 15 percent.
Taking a line from Ronald Reagan's campaign book, Gore said, "You ain't seen nothing yet," following his late Friday night win in the two western states, where he took 75 delegates. For his part, Bush captured the 69 GOP delegates.