Ground work essential--(snip)That's why candidates put so much of their resources into getting out the vote (GOTV) on Election Day.
GOTV has become as important as paid advertising and televised debates. A candidate must have a sophisticated ground strategy that includes phone banks, buses and volunteers to move lethargic voters to the polls.
Roger Martin, the reporter who wrote that Sunday poll story in 1990 and who is now a hot-shot Lansing political consultant, says a superior GOTV effort can boost a candidate by 2 to 5 percentage points.
The state GOP is two election cycles ahead of Democrats in GOTV. It's already made 2 million voter ID calls and has perfected a micro-targeting technique that finds Republicans who don't even know they are Republicans.
But Martin says ballot proposals on affirmative action and school funding may motivate more Democratic-leaning voters.
Ed Sarpolous, pollster for The News, says loyal Republicans are less enthused about Dick DeVos than loyal Democrats are about Granholm. That also could counter the Republican advantage.
But pollster Steve Mitchell says he's rarely seen an incumbent win if his or her poll numbers are below 50 percent going into Election Day. Undecided voters, he says, tend to break for the challenger.
In the latest Detroit News/Channel 7 poll, Granholm holds a 4-point lead, but at 48 percent she still hasn't topped that magical 50 percent mark.
The bottom line is that no matter what the polls say today, this election is still up for grabs.
The winner is less likely to be decided by a blitz of new ads or a last-minute bomb than by who wakes up Election Day best ready to do the gritty work of making sure his or her supporters vote.
Obviously, this also applies to WA-8 and all the other close races for Congress.