Turnout efforts ramp up on right, left in Ohio battleground

Associated Press


A battle of the ground games will mark the final days before the election in swing state Ohio, where groups on the political right and left are making all-out efforts to get voters to the polls.

Turnout is expected to be critical in the contest between Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican rival Donald Trump, who polls show are locked in a tight race for the state’s 18 electoral votes. Ohio has roughly 7.5 million registered voters. Turnout in the past three presidential elections has been around 70 percent.

A coalition of progressive groups announced Wednesday that it has put together a massive, coordinated get-out-the-vote effort that is unprecedented in its organization and scope.

More than a dozen participating groups, including the AFL-CIO labor umbrella, American Federation of Teachers, NextGen Climate and Planned Parenthood Votes, plan to mobilize the former “Obama coalition” on behalf of Clinton. That means phone calls and door knocks and follow-ups to outreach that’s taken place on more than 50 Ohio college campuses.

Antonia Webb, state director of For Ohio’s Future, which helped organize the effort, said her group has already knocked on 1.3 million doors, with another 700,000 homes planned before Nov. 8.

On the conservative side is Americans for Prosperity, the well-funded advocacy powerhouse backed by the billionaire Koch brothers.

Americans for Prosperity-Ohio told The Associated Press it will launch a huge grassroots effort in the state today, urging Ohioans to “fulfill their civic duty and vote.”

The group said the effort is separate from its express advocacy in the Senate race, where it spent more than $8 million on anti-Strickland ads.