Demonstrators who wanted to deliver a message to the candidates were sealed off on the soccer field, but that didn't stop Wake Forest University students from expressing themselves. Some undecideds hung a banner: "Throw 'em both back. Let's go fishing again."

Placards dotted the windows of buildings ringing the grassy quadrangle at the center of the tree-lined campus. Banners hung from windowsills with catchy slogans: "I hate pork rinds. Vote for Dukakis," and "Deacons don't dig the Duke."Wake Forest's athletic teams use the nickname "Demon Deacons."

Other banners had less partisan messages: "Don't hide in a Bush or run for the Mike. Come see for yourself who you like."

Demonstrators representing a variety of causes hoped for a moment in the spotlight, but the university soccer field where they were shuttled off to was hundreds of yards away from the debate site.

"We'd like to be closer but that's something we can't do anything about," said Marian Franklin of the Winston-Salem chapter of the National Organization for Women, who held a sign touting the Equal Rights Amendment.