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IOP Pols Speak on Election '96

By Charles G. Kels

With only five days left until the Nov. 5 election, the Institure of Politics was buzzing with predictions yesterday.

Political pundits on both sides of the aisle were offering their take on Tuesday's national election in front of undergraduate study groups sponsored by the Institute of Politics.

Retiring U.S. Sen. Alan K. Simpson (R-Wyo.) said that given "the volatile electorate," Republican candidate Robert J. Dole still has a chance to take California and the West.

"There is an opportunity for [Dole] in the West," said Simpson, who will stump for the former Kansas senator today in Texas.

Simpson, who will teach a course on Congress and the press at the Kennedy School next semester, spoke at a study group titled "Western Politics: Values, Traditions, and Inevitably, Change."

Simpson was the guest of former Wyoming Governor and current IOP fellow Michael J. Sullivan, who ran against Simpson's brother to win the 1986 gubernatorial race.

"We were friends before I was elected," Sullivan said. "And despite our many political disagreements, we are still friends."

President Clinton's 1992 campaign manager David Wilhelm said, "Dole's campaign is a textbook of things that have gone wrong."

"There were a couple of key moments that Dole could have emerged," Wilhelm said. "But he had nothing to say."

Wilhelm, whose study group focuses on the 1996 presidential campaign, plans to announce the exit polls as they come in during his election day meeting Tuesday.

Approximately 50 people turned out to hear Simpson speak about the cultural differences between the Eastern and Western United States.

"Things are differently perceived there as they are perceived here," Simpson said before his talk, which was not open to the press. "I made a few notes to talk about which will be dazzling. But I don't know where my talk will go."

Sara M. Patter '99, a former Wyoming resident, said she enjoyed the chance to hear Simpson.

"I'm a strong Democrat, so I don't agree with all of his stances, but I do think he's done a lot for the state of Wyoming," Patter said. "He's a great politician who's had a very prolific career."

Simpson will live in Eliot House next semester while teaching a class titled "The Creating of Legislation: The Congress and The Press."

"We're looking forward to it tremendously," Simpson said. "We have three children, and we love being around young people. People say, 'Are you sad to be leaving the Senate?' I say I'm not going home to fish. I'm going into the most exciting phase of my life."

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