The presidential campaigns made the last turn and headed down the stretch yesterday, President Carter barnstorming through Texas and Ronald Reagan touring Michigan at the side of the state's favorite son, former president Ford.
The contrast between the candidates, with only two days left before the presidential election, was marked: a grimly determined Carter, his voice raw from endless exhortations to the voters he so desperately needs to turn out in large numbers, and a relaxed, even buoyant Reagan, throwing aside his usual caution to tell some supporters, "We're going to win this thing."
Carter paused in Abilene, Tex., to send a message to the nation. "In four years as president, I have learned a great deal," he said. "I have learned that it is not always enough to be right. We must set priorities or the most important work may not get done. We need to make our programs understood and then build a consensus for them."
Reagan, taking advantage of Ford's popularity, said in Grand Rapids, Mich., that Carter had failed because of "his total inability to fill Jerry Ford's shoes."
Independent candidate John B. Anderson asked supporters not to heed "last-minute efforts" by Carter to persuade them that an Anderson vote is a wasted vote.