INDEPENDENCE, Mo. (AP) _ Bob Dole struck a defiant Election Day note on the finale of his arduous campaign for the White House, insisting today in Harry Truman's hometown that he can still win despite long odds.

Addressing more than 2,500 people in front of a statue of President Truman at a 4 a.m. EST rally, Dole said he believed his 96-hour campaign blitz to ``diners and bowling alleys'' had given him a real chance to defeat President Clinton in today's election.

Quoting from a Truman speech before his upset victory in 1948, Dole said: ``The tide is rolling. All over the country. I have seen it in other people's faces. The people are going to win this election.''

But even as he spoke, the audience could sense the uphill task Dole faces. On the podium in front of Dole was a banner that read: ``Upset of the Century.''

The boisterous rally on an old-fashioned courthouse square was the next-to-last event in a nearly nonstop campaign odyssey that took Dole 10,534 miles to 29 events in 20 states from Friday to today.

``I have done what I can do _ all I can do,'' he said. ``Nothing I say t this point will change what will happen today.''

One last thing remains: He and wife Elizabeth were to vote at high noon in Dole's hometown of Russell, Kan., before returning to Washington to watch the returns.

Even as he compared his own campaign to Truman's surprise victory 48 years ago over Thomas E. Dewey, Dole again struck hard at Clinton for what he called a series of ethical lapses and practice of dodging the truth.

``Bill Clinton will look you in the eye and tell you anything. I will look you in the eye and tell you the truth,'' Dole thundered, the hoarseness he had been suffering from all but disappeared.

The nation, he said, ``deserves and demands a president worthy of its honesty, worthy of its decency, worthy of its trust.''

``I still believe in the honor of that office, the highest in this land, the highest in this world, and I am still offended when that honor is betrayed, as it has been betrayed by the Clinton administration,'' Dole said.

Earlier, just after midnight today in a Des Moines, Iowa, bowling alley, Sen. John McCain paid a moving tribute to Dole for his comeback from a severe shoulder injury suffered during World War II. Win or lose, McCain said, people should pause to remember Dole's sacrifice and recovery.

``You know this is the last crusade of a great warrior, a member of a generation of Americans who went out and made the world safe for democracy, so that we could have lives that were far better for ourselves and our children,'' said McCain, R-Ariz., a former Navy pilot who spent years in North Vietnamese POW camps.

Dole, standing just behind McCain, appeared to be blinking back tears as McCain described how people in Dole's hometown of Russell, Kan., collected money in cigar boxes to pay for his operations.

``They gave, and he did indeed return to a life of service, not only for the people of Kansas, but the people of this country,'' McCain said.