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POLITICS IN BRIEF

Edwards blasts Bush on donation

Democratic presidential contender John Edwards is calling on President Bush to return more than $100,000 donated to his campaign by a major manufacturer of voting machines, saying the relationship could damage confidence in elections. Edwards, a senator from North Carolina, criticized the contributions by Walden O'Dell, head of Diebold Election Systems, in a speech prepared for delivery today before Florida Democrats at their annual meeting in Lake Buena Vista. Terry Holt, a spokesman for the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign, said he had no comment on Edwards's remarks. (AP)

FLORIDA

Sunshine State uneasy over Iraq

Voters in Florida have become increasingly concerned with President Bush's leadership on Iraq, according to a poll released yesterday, but 56 percent said Bush had made them feel more protected from another terrorist attack. The survey indicated Bush had an approval rating of 53 percent among Florida voters, down 7 percentage points since he declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq in May. Bush narrowly carried the state in 2000 after a bitter recount. The poll of 800 registered voters in Florida was conducted Dec. 1-3 for The Miami Herald and the St. Petersburg Times. The overall poll carried a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. (AP)

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