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DEMOCRATIC CONVENTION '96

Ratings Check

August 29, 1996

The second night of Democratic National Convention coverage--which featured an address by Hillary Clinton--drew higher ratings than the Republican convention did on its second night and higher ratings than when Elizabeth Dole spoke on the GOP's third night. Tuesday's prime-time coverage on the three major networks and CNN totaled about 28% of the available audience and nearly 20 million viewers--about 2.5 million more than the GOP gathering on both the second and third nights, and up slightly compared to the Democrats' opening-day numbers.

Fed Up at the Feasts

When special interest lobbyists host often lavish parties for delegates at the Democratic convention, are they trying to win political favors from the party's power brokers? Party Chairman Christopher J. Dodd, who doubles as a senator from Connecticut, is clearly tired of being asked that question by reporters. Earlier this week, in response to such a query, he replied: "I'm much more concerned about campaign finance reform than I am that some [party members] show up at [Chicago's Shedd] Aquarium for cheese dip!"

Drive for Women Voters

Seeking to take advantage of the gender gap that polls show plagues Republican Bob Dole, Emily's List is going national with a drive to get women to the polls in 1996--expecting and hoping, of course, that they will cast ballots for President Clinton. The fund-raising committee--which contributes to campaigns of Democratic women supporting abortion rights--will offer $3 million in matching grants to state party operations this fall to encourage women voters. A total of $10 million is budgeted through the year 2000, the group's officials say.

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