Politics & Government

Volunteers likely will head north

Some Kentucky Republicans and Democrats will export their shoe-leather campaigning to battleground neighborhoods in Ohio, but not as part of any major state-wide organized efforts, party activists said.

Ohio is bracing for volunteer armies for both Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama's campaigns to canvass just about every registered voter's doorstep in the state over the next three weeks.

But the state parties in Kentucky, which is considered solidly in McCain's column, aren't marshaling organized group trips. Few volunteers could be spared to go to Ohio because there are enough other competitive races here, including the U.S. Senate race between Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Bruce Lunsford.

Said Republican Party Chairman Steve Robertson: "Generally, there are probably some Kentuckians that will be part of a deployment to some of these target states. But I wouldn't think it would be very many, because a lot of the Kentuckians are focused on staying here and making sure the vote is turned out for Mitch."

Northern Kentucky Democratic activist Chuck Eilerman has been helping coordinate the Obama campaign in and around Covington. But he said most volunteers have joined forces with Lunsford's campaign to make calls to Kentucky voters.

"I don't think we're going to have any organized excursions to Ohio," Eilerman said. "But we're going to encourage people to do that."

He said at least several dozen Covington Democrats have been driving to the Cincinnati area to help the party there on their own.