Candidates focusing on Election Day turnouts

Posted at: 11/05/2012 4:31 PM
Updated at: 11/05/2012 7:35 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitness News

We are now in the final hours of Election 2012. Early voting is over. Absentee voting is a done deal. The TV and radio bombardment continues, but the real action is on the ground.  Now the focus is on having an old-fashioned voter turnout on old-fashioned Election Day.

Republicans rallied in Albuquerque's Northeast Heights, at the campaign headquarters of U.S. Senate candidate Heather Wilson. She spent the day with Gov. Susana Martinez on an airport-hopping tour of the state, starting in Santa Fe Monday morning and ending in Albuquerque Monday night, with stops in Clovis, Hobbs, Las Cruces and Farmington. The message is to the party faithful and to disaffected Democrats and conservative independents: Come on into the tent brothers and sisters, and let us confound the pollsters with a massive turnout on Tuesday!

Meanwhile, New Mexico Democrats are not exactly asleep at the wheel either, steering their loyal supporters towards the polls with an urgent message.

"It all comes down to tomorrow," Senate candidate Martin Heinrich told a cheering crowd on the University of New Mexico campus Monday afternoon. "Many of you have already voted early. If we get the turnout numbers that we need we're going to win this election."

Democratic Senator Tom Udall stood alongside Heinrich, making a connection with the mostly young, mostly student audience.

"You have more at stake in this system than anybody because you're going to spend an entire lifetime working and having a productive life and the things we do today really make that happen," Udall said.

Congressional candidate Michelle Lujan Grisham rallied with the UNM crowd too, zeroing in on women voters.

"We're going to make sure that women continue to have equal access to health care," Grisham said. "We're not going to let them defund Planned Parenthood. We're going to make sure that women are making their own decisions about health care."

These candidates have read the polls and the studies. They know that the enthusiastic youth vote of he 2008 election has curdled in 2012. Obama has a substantial lead over Romney among voters under 30, but it's far smaller than the lead he had over McCain in 2008

Republican campaigners know it too, and they know the polls show Romney's under-30 support is intensely loyal, and those voters are likely to vote in this election.