Election 2012: Illinoisans cross state lines to get out the vote

November 2, 2012 3:13:34 PM PDT
Chicagoans Celeste Peterson and Livia Kamberos arrived in Wisconsin Friday morning and began canvassing a Kenosha neighborhood for the Obama campaign.

"The drill is just engaging with people, listening to them, letting them express themselves politically if they choose to," said Kamberos.

The political pros call it "the ground game," the opposite of multi-million dollar television ad campaigns, its true believers swear by its effectiveness in turning out the vote.

"Face to face contact is something that a lot of people are forgetting right now," Peterson said.

While Governor Romney rallied in suburban Milwaukee, Bill Borto of Wheaton, Illinois, made phone calls from the Republican candidate's Kenosha field office.

"The election's gonna make a difference," said Borto. "It's going to be particularly close, especially close in Wisconsin."

Romney backer Tim Moreland drove up from Elgin.

"I really believe that we as Americans, we have to be involved," said Moreland.

The Obama/Biden campaign has staffed 65 field offices in Wisconsin, compared to 26 for Romney/Ryan.

When the candidates visit the state, as Joe Biden did in Beloit Friday, they try to motivate the ground troops.

The battleground state phone calls and door knocks will intensify this weekend as workers from flyover Illinois get their orders to move north or to the west.

"I'm gonna go tomorrow to--I was gonna go to Wisconsin," said Peterson, "but then I got a call saying we're going to Iowa. So, why not?"

The Obama campaign, headquartered in Chicago, is relocating workers from Illinois to nearby battleground states.


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