A year and a half of stump speeches, debates and Twitter wars all come down to this, the last day of campaigning before Election Day. And the polls in Ohio are very tight between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The reporters of the Ohio Public Radio’s Statehouse News Bureau caught up with the Clinton and Trump campaigns to find out how they’re handling the last minute push.
Dozens of volunteers cycled through a central Ohio campaign office for Hillary Clinton. They dropped in. Grabbed their clipboards. Got their marching orders. Then went back out into the community for one last round of canvassing.
Sheldon Gleisser, a self-proclaimed lazy person, says he forced himself to get off the couch and stump for Clinton because he believes she’ll make a good leader. But Gleisser says he’s also motivated by his distaste for Donald Trump. “In that office you can be not very bright, or you can be crazy but you can’t be both and to come out here and do this it’s like no I don’t like doing this I don’t like knocking on doors and saying high would you like to…but it’s got to be done.”
As Clinton’s Ohio spokesperson Laura Zapata explains, there’s a high level of excitement among the volunteers as they make their final push. Zapata says it’s all about reaching out and connecting to those who are still undecided. “Making sure that they know that their neighbors – who their neighbors are and why they’re voting for Hillary Clinton and sharing their personal story.”
Volunteers say the number one question they get from people when they open their doors is about Clinton’s email server controversy, but the Clinton supporters say they talk about how the investigations haven’t resulted in any charges or indictments.
Meanwhile, officials in the Trump campaign in Ohio said they wouldn’t do a specific interview on last minute “get out the vote” efforts with Ohio Public Radio, or allow a visit with canvassers or those working phone banks. But in a national teleconference, Dave Bossie, Deputy Campaign Manager to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, said volunteers are enthusiastic. “Our organizers and volunteers are full of enthusiasm and we are running full speed toward the finish line.”
Chris Young, the Republican National Committee’s Field Director, says when it comes to Ohio, the ground game is stronger than ever. “Ohio is a state that we’ve knocked right at three million doors this cycle in that state alone which surpasses anything we have done for any previous Republican in a presidential year. The majority of our effort out there, obviously, is chasing each and every vote to make sure we get those ballots in.”
The campaign says it will be using key software and political strategies to help get its supporters to the polls.