U.S. Senate candidate Rich Carmona started Election Day in South Phoenix with Mayor Greg Stanton, rallying the troops who have been working all year to boost support for the former U.S. Surgeon General.
"Volunteers for [Carmona] have been working as hard as they can to make sure that every eligible voter in South Phoenix gets to the polls," Stanton says. "This is grassroots campaigning at its best. I predict record turnout in that community."
Every vote they can bag will make a difference -- especially since the latest Public Policy Polling survey shows Congressman Jeff Flake, who is running against Carmona, leading by 5 points.
See also: Democrat Rich Carmona Races Toward the U.S. Senate See also: President Bill Clinton Rocks Packed Rally for Senate Candidate Carmona (Slideshow) See also: Flake's Attack Ad Against Carmona Features Woman Who Exaggerated Her Resume for Nation's Top Health Adviser
Carmona's campaign isn't putting too much stock in that poll. Others have shown that Carmona is leading.
But those volunteers might help tilt the scales for Carmona, given that like-minded campaign volunteers working to mobilize Latino voters successfully kicked up turnout in west Phoenix by 500 percent during the previous Phoenix City Council election.
After the South Phoenix rally, Carmona stopped off at Arizona Democratic Party headquarters in Central Phoenix to inject his volunteers with another surge of energy and excitement, and he plans to do the same at the Pima County Democratic Party's office in Tucson.
He'll be hanging out with family members and volunteers tonight at the Marriott at University Park in Tucson, waiting for results of a long, hard-fought race.
The campaign has been rife with attack ads and allegations. Recently, political groups have accused Flake's campaign of intentionally using robocalls to mislead voters about their polling locations. And, after several calls for an investigation by groups -- including the Arizona Democratic Party -- it appears that the FBI is planning to look into the calls.
Despite repeated calls to Flake's campaign, his spokesman Andrew Wilder hasn't returned any of our calls.
A campaign volunteer did tell us that Flake will be hanging out at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix with the Republican Party awaiting election results.
"Voting is easy and both sides should be doing all they can to encourage Arizonans to come out and participate in our Democracy, no matter what party they belong to," Carmona said in a statement. "It's troubling that some groups, including Congressman Flake's campaign, are trying to make voting more complicated than it is in hopes that it benefits their side."
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