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Friday, Oct. 31, 2014

Candidates map out their 'ground game'

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Two weeks to go and we political junkies are like kids in a candy store. Everywhere you look there's a political nugget that captures your attention.

Then in the blink of an eye, another hidden morsel of news surfaces and your attention shifts to a new candy counter.

I told a friend a month ago that virtually every day would usher in a new talking point or perceived misstatement.

In this election, the heavy lifting comes at the end.

And perhaps, despite my continued amazement, that may be why large numbers of voters still profess to be undecided.

They wait for a shoe to fall, an awkward misstep or a fresh idea that at long last molds their ultimate decision.

For 80 to 90 percent of voters, shoes have already fallen. Visions have been shaped or rejected. The choice has been made.

This leads to the ever-popular and increasingly important "ground game."

On that front, the Democrats have traditionally held the edge.

With a new national GOP chairman in place since the last national election, it will be a major test to see if he recognizes the importance of the ability to turn out the vote.

Millions will be spent in the next two weeks to finance this "ground game."

Rest assured, no small sum will also go to an army of lawyers to monitor the "ground game" and help assure ballot integrity.

Memories of 2000 linger still in our minds about a close national election.

We know what groups will post strong turnout to vote in lock-step fashion.

But there's such an enormous focus this year on the starkly different paths ahead that motivating voter turnout may not be difficult.

Though the days are numbered until Nov. 6, listen carefully and think about the recent past, the present and the future.

We've heard enough empty promises in the past four years to last a lifetime.

Voters - even the undecided - are smart enough to see our direction and the impact on their lives.

On Election Day, we may find there were far fewer undecided voters than the experts had imagined.

Michael Jensen
Michael Jensen