CHASKA, Minn. (KMSP) - Running for office was never meant to be a literal term, but Congressman Erik Paulsen has made it that way.
Door knocking on the final day of the 2016 campaign, the 3rd district Republican runs from door to door, mobilizing himself as he works to mobilize voters.
“Minnesotans by and large turn out to vote, it’s part of our DNA,” he told Fox 9 while in a Chaska neighborhood he was about to jog through, one house at a time. “I expect we’re still going to have good numbers, but I want to make sure the folks who’ve been my supporters all actually turn out to vote in the polls.”
With the final hours before election day, the strategy nearly always turns to one of turn out. There are those last minutes attempts to swing the undecideds, but for the most part the candidates and their parties figure people have mostly made up their minds.
Now it’s just a matter of making sure your voters aren’t the ones who decided to skip it this year.
“It’s been different this year because we have no senate race, we have no governor’s race,” Paulsen noted between door knocks. “And you have the presidential which is in a world of its own, so yeah a lot of us are doing our own thing and I think that’s typical for a lot of the candidates this year.”
The Minnesota DFL party, meanwhile, worked an organized approach of aggressive door-knocking - some 40,000 on Sunday alone - while completing a string of rallies in outstate Minnesota, where Democratic candidates for the state legislature face a tough battle in a year dominated by the struggles of MNsure.
“We’re so excited about the ground game we have,” Minnesota DFL chair Ken Martin said after a rally at St. Olaf College in Northfield. “We think that’s going to be the difference in this election.”
Martin was on the final day of a three-day get out the vote tour through outstate Minnesota. The main players of this were four of the state’s top Democrats, none of whom needed to campaign for themselves this time around: the governor, lieutenant governor and our two U.S. senators.
“I am the poster boy for close elections,” Sen. Al Franken told the crowd gathered outside the St. Olaf College student center on an unseasonably warm November day. “It was 312 (votes) and that’s why between now and when the polls close. I need you to knock on doors, talk to your friends and your neighbors, make sure they get out to vote because every vote matters.”
Amy Klobuchar spoke to the mostly student crowd about the issues that matter to them, such as climate change and easing student loan debt. And, while also encouraging them to vote and help get out the vote, she sounded encouraged about early indications that young people are surpassing expectations.
“Guess what?” she exclaimed to the crowd. “Early voting shows around the country shows an all time high of millennials voting. They are voting. They are turning out!”