Candidates hit campaign trail in effort to rally still-undecided voters

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COLUMBIA - From presidential to state level candidates, Republicans and Democrats are hitting the campaign trail hard in the final days before the election, all with the goal of swaying undecided voters in their favor.

Through a campaign practice called Get Out The Vote, candidates are making last minute appearances, meeting with supporters and working with volunteers to reach out to undecided voters. 

According to Dr. Terry Smith, a political science professor with Columbia College, these final days are the hardest ones a campaign faces.

"This is the toughest part of the election," Smith said. "Because you could campaign to your hearts content and spend all the money you got and more on ads, and you can have all of these supporters, but if they stay home it doesn't do you any good."

And while Republican and Democratic candidates may hold varying viewpoints on policy and legislation, both sides agree that GOTV campaigning could provide exactly the push their candidate needs in the polls.

Abe Rakov, the campaign manager of Missouri Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Jason Kander, was at a GOTV rally on Wednesday and said that extra effort can make a difference when a race is close.

"I definitely think it has an impact. Like this is a tied race, it's going to come down to turnout, and if we get our people to get our voters to turn out we are going to win," Rakov said.

Jonathan Ratliff, campaign manager for Republican candidate for Missouri State Senate Caleb Rowden, said the campaign efforts do not go unnoticed by Missourians.

"I think rallies and anything you can do at the very end to both excite your supporters and show the others, the kind of late deciders, that your campaign has momentum, that people are exicted about your campaign, it helps those who may or may not be band wagon voters want to jump in an be supportive," Ratliff said.

According to Smith, the benefit of these final efforts will be most evident on election day.

"Where it will really matter is can you energize your loyalists, especially your volunteers to do the really hard work that is necessary on election day to make sure your supporters actually go vote," he said.