Parties make final push for votes
With just one week to go until election day, it’s become a sprint to the finish line for candidates at every level. Now, local party members are making a final push in a campaign season that to some, feels like it’s gone on forever.
“It has been in our minds. It’s been going on for four years,” said Gayle Santuccio, executive committee member of the Rock Island County Republicans.
With just one week to election day, though, the end is finally in sight. But at the Rock Island County Democratic headquarters, the work is just beginning. Volunteers are manning phones, lining up poll workers and shifting their focus to voter turnout.
“We’re reaching out with personal contacts to voters all over the county, talking to them one-on-one, face-to-face, and this party in Rock Island County stands united in a way that it hasn’t in many years,” said Rock Island County Democratic Party chairman Doug House.
At the Illinois Republican Party’s East Moline Victory Center, it’s a similar scene.
“They do phone calling, they pack walking packets, they send people out walking in the community to meet voters, deliver yard signs… anything and everything that you can possibly think of,” said Santuccio. “The jobs grow longer as the number of days grow shorter.”
And despite long-running campaigns, there’s no sign of weariness. Both parties insist local political enthusiasm is at an all-time high.
“I’ve never seen more enthusiasm or more engagement for the Democratic party and the Democratic candidates than I have this year,” said House. “We’re working hard to get that vote out and get some of the seats back that we lost in 2010.”
“Most people are just gaining momentum at this point,” added Santuccio. “The first GOP Central Committee meeting that I came to, we had maybe six people at it. Our last meetings have been standing room only.”
Now, it all comes down to these last seven days.
“This week, the ball’s on the 10 yard line, and we just have to push it in,” summed up House.