It's All About Turnout

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With the closest presidential race in a generation rounding the final bend, the focus is shifting from the issues-and-advertising phase to the get-your-committed-voters to the polls phase.

CBS News Correspondent Eric Engberg reports that a good turnout can mean an additional one to two percent of the vote, which would be enough to swing a close race. In the past, the Democrats, with their strong union ties, have enjoyed a built-in edge in this arena. But this year, the GOP has tripled its budget for its get out the vote efforts to more than $70 million.

"This is really the part of the campaign that we have invested the most long term energy in - to rebuild the party and be strong at various levels of government," Terry Holt of the Republican National Committee told CBS News.

In the key battleground state of Michigan, Republican volunteers are manning phones at a dozen centers. Linda Jollicoeur is one of those volunteers in Detroit. "You want to make sure that they go to the polls and actually vote," she said.

Allies of the Republican party are also cranking up their own campaigns. The National Rifle Association is spending millions on their get out the vote drive.

The Democrats are mobilizing minority voters, who are a key part of their base. In Detroit, the Reverend Wendell Anthony, uses his sermons to preach about voting.

He told his parishioners, "Black people are going to make the difference. When we vote, we win. If we stay home we lose."

Most of President Clinton's campaigning in recent days, like his appearance in Los Angeles with Wyclef Jean and Babyface on Thursday and Saturday's stop in the Bronx, New York, have been directed at minority voters. He told supporters in the Bronx to "go out and talk to your neighbors and win this election on Tuesday!"

Another Democratic core group putting in overtime, is organized labor. Ken Petkwitz of the Detroit United Auto Workers said "person to person contact is what the Democratic party is all about. The worker to worker with the union" is going to get the vote out.

The parties are also using star power as much as possible. The Democrats called on Paul Newman in Seattle and in Maryland, Republicans brought out crowd pleaser Bill Bennett.

Both parties are fully aware that as many as half the eligible voters are bored enough that they won't bother to vote which means that the party that does the best job of getting its troops to the polls will win.