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Candidates making final campaign push ahead of primary

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EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — The countdown is on and candidates are using their time wisely on the last weekend before primary day in Rhode Island.

This weekend isn’t so much about attracting new voters as it is about inspiring existing supporters to get out and vote on Wednesday.

“It’s all get out the vote right now,” Eyewitness News political analyst Joe Fleming said.

From hosting rallies to canvassing neighborhoods, Fleming says candidates will be sprinting to the finish line in the days leading up to September 12th.

“They will go almost twenty-four seven for this final four days, trying to meet as many voters as they can to motivate them to come out,” Fleming said.

As the statewide primary gets closer, Fleming says focus is shifting for candidates. “At this point, what they’re doing is they’re turning away from persuading the voters, to motivating their voters, their supporters, to get them out to vote on Wednesday.”

Fleming expects about 100-thousand people to vote in the Democratic primary, and about 30-thousand people in the Republican primary.

“Everybody’s vote matters especially when you have a smaller turnout,” Fleming said.

All eyes are on the race for governor this year, and with voter turnout typically lower for primary elections compared to general elections Fleming says anything can happen.

“You never know, the voters in Rhode Island surprise you a lot of times,” said Fleming.  “I think most of the people have probably made up their mind at this point of who they’re supporting. I think the candidates realize that, that’s why they’re trying to make sure they motivate their voters.

An added task is reminding voters that this year’s primary is on a Wednesday, not a Tuesday, due to the observance of a Jewish holiday.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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