Even though state polls still show President Barack Obama with a big lead over Mitt Romney in Michigan, Republicans fanned out over the weekend hoping to register and motivate more voters to turn out on Nov. 6.
At least 2,500 workers spread out on Saturday, knocking on 100,000 doors, Sean Fitzpatrick, Romney's Michigan communications director, told the Detroit News
. He said volunteers also placed 130,000 calls statewide hoping to connect with even more potential voters.
At the same time, Obama volunteers also hit the streets in Metro Detroit, where they knocked on doors and encouraged people to vote or register in time to cast a ballot in this year's presidential election.
One volunteer told the News she knocked on more than 80 doors herself and helped register some young, first-time voters, a demographic Obama is intensely focused on winning.
Even though polls show Romney trailing in the state where he was born and his father was governor, Republicans believe his first debate performance has actually tightened the race in Michigan, which some GOP leaders had feared the campaign had all but written off.
Michigan political observers agree that things could change in Romney's favor, depending on how he does in the last two debates on Oct. 16 and Oct. 22.
"We aren't seeing anything surprising, just more intensity," political analyst Bill Ballenger, editor of Inside Michigan Politics newsletter, told the News. But he said things "may tighten up more" in the aftermath of Romney's showing in the first debate.
"The Republicans believe they have a chance," he added. "Why else do you think (New Jersey Gov.) Chris Christie was in Novi [last week], Ann Romney in Grand Rapids, and (Romney running mate) Paul Ryan [is] coming in Monday at Oakland University?"
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