State Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said Monday that 200 GOP volunteers have already signed up to help in four swing states in late October. Busloads of volunteers will go to Charlotte, N.C.; Virginia Beach, Va.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Dayton, Ohio, to go door to door to try to sway undecided voters, he said.
Armistead said he was glad to organize volunteers to go out of state because "we feel very certain we'll carry this state for Gov. Romney."
Meanwhile, Bradley Davidson, executive director of the Alabama Democratic Party, said carloads of volunteers have been going to Tallahassee, Fla., and some other areas in the Florida Panhandle on weekends to campaign for Obama. He said the Obama campaign sought volunteers in states that are securely for one candidate or the other. Alabama's traveling volunteers are housed in the homes of local volunteers in Florida, he said.
The Republican nominee for president has carried Alabama in every election since 1980. All four states where the Alabama Republican Party is sending volunteers went for Obama in 2008.
Using volunteers in secure states to help in battleground states has become standard practice in this presidential election. For instance, Democrats in the San Francisco Bay area are sending volunteers to Nevada, and Republicans in Romney's home state of Utah are using volunteers to make phone calls to Nevada voters.
Armistead said the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Reince Priebus, sought help in swing states and the Alabama GOP responded with volunteers. They have been dubbed "Alabama Battleground Patriots." Armistead said volunteers who can't travel will be staffing phones in Alabama to call undecided voters in swing states.
Davidson said Democratic volunteers in Alabama are also making calls to Florida voters. Some of the volunteers use phone banks and others use an Internet-based system that allows them to call from home using a prepared script. He said that allows the party to use rural volunteers who can't drive to phone banks in urban areas.
"We've made hundreds and hundreds of phone calls to Florida," he said.