Virginia Volunteers Prepare for Final Election Push

State up for grabs

The ground game is in full swing, as volunteers for John McCain and Barack Obama head to Fairfax County neighborhoods. Many are from neighboring states.

"My wife and I have committed to the 10-day deployment team in Virginia," said Albert Small. "We are from Maryland, but we are being deployed to Virginia."

If it sounds like a battle, it is. Volunteers are critical in any political campaign, but when a state is up for grabs like Virginia, the stakes become even higher.

At an Obama office in Fairfax City, retirees make up the backbone of the organization. There are 50 in this one office alone, said Obama staffers.

"I have never seen so much excitement. This is the greatest year in Virginia," said retiree Bob Reinsel, who volunteers five days a week with the Obama campaign. 

But the main plan here is to meet with voters face to face.

"We found that the most effective thing that we can do is actually getting neighbors talking to their neighbors to try and convince them to come out and vote, especially if they haven't had a very consistent voting record in the past," said Obama staffer Ashish Sinha. 

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Earlier Wednesday, McCain volunteers were treated to a meet-and-greet with the presidential candidate's 96-year-old mother. Roberta McCain thanked dozens of volunteers for their efforts and the hours they will put in on this last critical weekend.

Volunteers in both campaigns said no matter who wins Virginia, the chance to sway voters' minds was worth the countless days spent knocking on doors.

"A lot of the one-on-one discussions has really made people understand that we can talk about this," said Obama volunteer Christine Lively. "I think people are just happy that you care about what they think, even if they don't agree with you."

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