Turn-out-the-vote 2008: the final hours

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After all the half hour ads, direct mail and phone calls, US elections boil down to getting out the vote.

Obama has been able to spend enormous amounts of money on his “ground war” (as compared to the “air war” of television ads). Obama offices outnumber McCain offices in battleground states by as much as 2:1.

There are a number of tactics to get out the vote, but it basically boils down to door-knocking, and using the data gained over the course of the campaign to target voters effectively. After all, you don’t want to take opposition voters to the polling booth.

That’s right, despite all the sophisticated tools and techniques that US presidential campaigns use, it boils down to one-on-one conversations between a canvasser and potential voter. The databases and targeting are just aids to get campaigners in front of the doors most likely to vote for the candidate.

Campaign money simply allows candidates to employ more staff, train more volunteers and more effectively target potential voters.