Monday November 5, 2012

CONCORD, N.H. -- President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney are reaching out to New Hampshire voters by phone and in person in their effort to turn out the vote for Tuesday’s election.

Both campaigns are relying on hundreds of volunteers to make calls and knock on doors to talk to potential voters.

Ryan Williams, Romney’s national spokesman, said Romney is making his final push for votes in New Hampshire at a Monday night rally at the Verizon Center accompanied by singer Kid Rock.

"The campaign is coming full circle," since New Hampshire is where Romney started his campaign, Williams said Wednesday.

Obama also is coming back to New Hampshire on Sunday, his campaign said. No details were available.

Obama’s campaign is sending former President Bill Clinton to the state, though no schedule for his appearance has been released. Caroline Kennedy, another prominent Democrat, will be in New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday for a tour aimed at women voters.

GOP Party Chairman Wayne MacDonald said the state party is running a "pretty straight-forward, textbook effort" to get voters to the polls who have been identified as supporting Republican candidates.

"We’re going to be contacting them Election Day to be sure they get out to vote," he said.

They also will be monitoring who shows up at the polls and make calls to voters who have not shown up, he said.


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Harrell Kirstein, New Hampshire’s Obama campaign spokesman, said volunteers are making calls from 22 offices in the state.

Peggy Sullivan-Perrot, 71, of Allenstown, was among a half dozen workers making calls in the Concord office Wednesday.

"I did change someone’s mind today," she said.

When workers persuade an undecided voter to vote for Obama, they ring a bell like those found at deli counters.

Ryan said Romney has 10 offices in the state. He said workers have made 135,000 voter contacts this week.

Both campaigns said they will provide rides to the polls for voters supporting their candidates.

Obama won New Hampshire in 2008, and recent polls have given him an edge over Romney in the state where Romney owns a summer home and has maintained a significant campaign presence since the January presidential primary.

New Hampshire is the smallest of the major battleground states. But both sides are acutely aware of its potential to alter the outcome if the national contest is tight.

Both sides point to 2000, when Democrat Al Gore lost New Hampshire by 7,000 votes to Republican George W. Bush. Had Gore prevailed in New Hampshire, he would have had the 270 votes needed to win the election and the famously disputed Florida vote would not have determined the race.

New Hampshire, where 33 percent of voters are registered Republicans and 28 percent are registered Democrats, has been shifting from reliably Republican to Democrat-tilting since Clinton shattered years of Republican dominance by winning it in 1992.