GOTV Barnstorming Kicks Into High Gear for Final Push
With early voting under way in 30 states this week, get-out-the-vote efforts by both parties are kicking into gear with high-profile surrogates barnstorming the country to try to motivate their voters. Naturally, the hottest races are seeing the most visits, with Democrats’ power in both chambers on the line.
On Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) is scheduled to tour the Las Vegas area with a pair of House colleagues as he fights in perhaps the most high-profile Senate contest of the cycle.
At an event targeting minority voters, Reid is being joined by civil rights icon and 12-term Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). The Las Vegas event is being hosted by the Clark County Democratic Black Caucus.
Reid also will be greeting voters in the Las Vegas area with one of the newest Democrats in the House, Rep. Judy Chu, who won a special election in her Los Angeles-based seat in 2009 when President Barack Obama nominated then-Rep. Hilda Solis to be Labor secretary.
Meanwhile, President Bill Clinton, who has become a sought-after presence by Congressional Democrats, will make several stops in the Midwest on Sunday and Monday after a swing through the South for several embattled Blue Dog Democrats last week.
Clinton is scheduled to campaign in Michigan for Reps. John Dingell (D) and Mark Schauer (D) before heading to Minnesota to rally Democrats for Tarryl Clark, who’s taking on Rep. Michele Bachmann (R) in what has become one of the most expensive races in the country. Clinton also is scheduled to hold an event for New York Rep. Scott Murphy (D) on Monday. CQ Politics recently moved Murphy’s race from Leans Democratic to Tossup.
Although Republicans claim to have the enthusiasm advantage heading into the midterm elections, GOP leaders are taking no chances and are hitting the road to motivate their voters.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) spent part of his weekend in West Virginia rallying supporters for businessman John Raese (R), who could pull off what might be the upset of the cycle in his special election contest against Gov. Joe Manchin (D) for the seat that had been held by the late Sen. Robert Byrd. On Saturday, former New Mexico Sen. Pete Domenici (R) headlined a get-out-the-vote rally in the Land of Enchantment for Republican Jon Barela in the state’s hotly contested 1st district.
National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas) has a trio of fundraising events Sunday and Monday with stops in Nashville, Tenn.; Richmond, Va.; and New York City.
Vice President Joseph Biden’s upcoming week is packed with events for Democrats. Monday he’ll help candidate Ann McLane Kuster in New Hampshire’s 2nd district, his 100th event for 2010 candidates.
On Tuesday, Biden stumps for Rep. Tim Bishop and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand in New York. Wednesday it’s Philadelphia for Rep. Patrick Murphy, whose race CQ Politics also moved from Leans Democratic to Tossup, and Pennsylvania 7th district candidate Bryan Lentz.
On Thursday, Biden will stump for Rep. Frank Kratovil in Bethesda, Md. Friday it’s Iowa for a rally for Rep. Bruce Braley.
Obama will be barnstorming the country as well over the final weekend, with rallies in Connecticut, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio.