Nov 2, 2014 9:36 AM
Paul Steinhauser: NH candidates hit the ground in Granite State for stretch run
NH1 Political Director - NH1.com
PORTSMOUTH - On the final weekend before Election Day, it's all about the ground game.
"I'm definitely not talking long because I want you all outside knocking on doors for all of us," said Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, urging activists and supporters to get out the vote.
Shea-Porter, who's facing a tough re-election against her GOP challenger, former Rep. Frank Guinta, teamed up in Portsmouth with Gov. Maggie Hassan Saturday morning at a Democratic Party campaign office. Hassan said the day's rainy weather could actually help canvassing efforts.
"We know that it's just a little bit of rain and we're all New Englanders. Occasionally you get the sympathy vote from the people at the door when you show up that way," Hassan said.
It was a similar message from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
"You're going to make phone calls, you're going to knock on doors. I always say when the weather is bad people are nice to you. The need to bring you in and listen to you because the weather is so bad," Shaheen said to supporters and activists at a Democratic party office in Exeter.
Shaheen was greeted by one of her youngest backers.
"What's your name," she asked a young boy holding a Shaheen sign.
"Blake," he answered.
"Have you been canvassing," the senator asked.
"Once," responded Blake, to laughter.
Kidding aside, Shaheen detailed to NH1 her get-out-the-vote efforts.
"We've made over 400,000 phone calls, we've knocked on 175,000 doors. We're going to be going back to all those people who may not be voting every year to remind them how important this election is," she said.
Boys on the bus
The Democratic incumbent's locked in a very close contest with GOP challenger Scott Brown, who was crisscrossing the state in his new campaign bus.
After greeting supporters and some undecided voters at the Motorcycle Museum in Meredith, he spoke with NH1 about his efforts down the stretch. Brown said he's spending almost every free moment calling voters.
"I've got a list of 800 people that I've chipped away at, it's down to 400. So I'm probably going to make 250 today without even blinking. My family's also making those calls. So I'll just give them sheets and what they'll do is they'll say ‘yeah, he's right here,' bang, and I'll spend time, two phones going," said Brown.
"Some folks out here were on the fence. We got their vote. So we're good. We're going to continue to march," he added.
Republican gubernatorial nominee Walt Havenstein and Guinta, who's trying to win back his own House seat, joined Brown on his bus. At a campaign event in Laconia, both men told NH1 they were confident about their get-out-the-vote efforts.
"It is really very, very encouraging to see how many volunteers are on the phones day in and day out. We've been working to get the vote out for a long time," Havenstein said.
"We have a fantastic ground game. We've got a lot of great people who are helping us get out the vote,' Guinta added.