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Democratic areas see registrations

A sweeping voter registration campaign in heavily Democratic areas has added tens of thousands of new voters to the rolls in the swing states of Ohio and Florida, a surge that has far exceeded the efforts of Republicans in both states, a review of registration data shows.

The analysis by the New York Times of county-by-county data shows that in Democratic areas of Ohio _ primarily low-income and minority neighborhoods _ new registrations since January have risen 250 percent over the same period in 2000. In comparison, new registrations have increased just 25 percent in Republican areas.

A similar pattern is apparent in Florida: In the strongest Democratic areas, the pace of new registration is 60 percent higher than in 2000, while it has risen just 12 percent in the heaviest Republican areas.

"60 Minutes' pulls a report on WMD

NEW YORK _ CBS News has shelved a 60 Minutes report on the rationale for war in Iraq because it would be "inappropriate" to air it so close to the presidential election, the network said on Saturday.

The report on weapons of mass destruction was set to air on Sept. 8 but was put off in favor of a story on President Bush's National Guard service. The Guard story was discredited because it relied on documents impugning Bush's service that were apparently fake.

CBS News spokeswoman Kelli Edwards would not elaborate on why the timing of the Iraq report was considered inappropriate. The report, with Ed Bradley as the correspondent, has long been in the works. Originally scheduled for June, it was first put off because of new developments, Edwards said.

Candidates start practicing for debate

CRAWFORD, Texas _ With their first debate less than a week away, President Bush and Democrat John Kerry kept their public schedules clear Saturday and began to focus on their prime-time showdown.

At his Texas ranch, Bush and his political advisers went over plans and worked toward an evening practice session for the leadoff debate of the 2004 campaign.

Joining Bush at his ranch was Sen. Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, who was standing in for Kerry in a practice round expected to last a few hours.

In Boston, Kerry caught up on work and met with campaign staff at his home ahead of the Thursday night debate at the University of Miami. Today, the Massachusetts senator will be shifting camp to a Wisconsin resort for his debate preparations.

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