Everyone is predicting a close presidential election,maybe 48 percent for Bush and 48 percent for Dukakis, with the remaining Reagan Democrats deciding the outcome.
So both sides are trying to win over the undecided voters.Freddy Dumstart, who is listed in both the Dukakis and Bush computers as one of the key "don't know" voters, is receiving attention from each camp.
Three of Dukakis' people called on Dumstart the other day.
"What do you want?" Freddy asked.
"We are appealing to all the Reagan Democrats to come home," one of the Dukakis men said.
"I haven't made up my mind whom I'm going to vote for," Dumstart said.
"Can the governor take you to dinner at an extremely good ethnic restaurant and explain his position on price supports?"
"I have already eaten at a good ethnic restaurant with the Bush people and am not really interested in that issue."
"Then maybe you would like to attend a night football game in Texas with Lloyd Bentsen while he tells you what a squirt Sen. Quayle really is. Fred, we want you on our team now."
"You're barking up the wrong tree, gentlemen. I am not going to make up my mind this early in the game."
"Because as soon as I announce how I intend to vote, no one will take me to dinner anymore. Look at the millions of voters already lined up for Dukakis. You know that you have them in your pocket, so you don't even care if they exist or not. All your time and energy is devoted to people like me who are still on the fence."
"Would you consider a tour of Boston Harbor in the governor's pollution-free launch? Surely that would be a wonderful way for you to get to know him."
"I'm not giving in. Many years back I voted the straight Democratic ticket and LBJ wouldn't even accept my calls. Then eight years ago I announced that I was an Independent and rather than vote along party lines, I would choose the best man for the job. That decision changed my life. The pollsters called me the most sought-after person in the presidential elections."
One of Dukakis' people said, "I think you exaggerate your own importance. We couldn't care less if you voted for our candidate or not. How would you like to be Secretary of the Treasury?"
Freddy answered, "The Bush people offered me head of the CIA."
"They have no intention of delivering on that, Mr. Dumstart. We're not just asking you to give us your vote without proof that you would be backing the right man. Gov. Dukakis is prepared to show you a slide presentation on the miracles he has performed for the state of Massachusetts."
"I'll give my answer election day."
"It may be too late. We're holding a seat on the Supreme Court for you, but if you don't decide right away we'll have to give it to another fence-sitter from N.J."