“It’s D-Day,” Macomb County Regional Coordinator Kurt King told Ron Paul supporters in Utica Thursday. “We are at the final point.”
Just days away from the Michigan presidential primary, grassroots supporters in the state's 10th congressional district met at Biggby to organize a final push for their candidate that will concentrate on undecided voters in the remaining pre-primary days.
“We have an extraordinary presence in Michigan,” said King, a Shelby Township resident. “I’ve seen our local numbers grow by leaps and bounds. We need to capitalize on this. We have that momentum.”
Shifting the focus to direct voter engagement, grassroots supporters like 27-year-old Sean Nawrock, of Macomb Township, plan to spend the next four days working their way through a phone list, urging friends and neighbors to cast their ballot for Paul.
“I never had a politician that I agree with so thoroughly,” Nawrock said. “He’s principled, which is unheard of. He doesn’t flip flop. He doesn’t change to be popular. He sticks with his guns and I think people are starting to see that.”
That Paul doesn’t plan to make a pre-primary visit to Macomb County, as fellow contenders m and have, is not a cause of concern to Nawrock or longtime Paul supporter David Shipton, 60.
“He’s a busy guy,” Nawrock said. “I think Romney and Santorum are so desperate to win this state and (Paul) knows he has momentum and grassroots support that Romney and Santorum don’t. Even if he didn’t come (to Michigan) at all he would have support.”
“He has to maximize his resources,” added Shipton, a fellow Macomb Township resident. “He doesn’t have the endless funds that these people are getting. He has to rely on people like us to work our counties.”
Work that includes spreading Paul’s message, but even more so in urging voter action.
“This is where we come in,” King said. “We have to call our friends and family. There is no way Dr. Paul can win if no one votes, right?” So until the polls close at 8 p.m. Tuesday, “we are securing votes. We are securing votes and ensuring turnout at the polls and the events.”
Fighting the misconceptions
However, to secure those votes, supporters in the Paul camp recognize they must first correct what many consider to be the greatest misconception about their candidate.
“You always hear he’s unelectable,” Nawrock said. “But people just don’t understand him. The public is so misguided and uneducated about the reality of foreign policy (and) monetary policy–very complex issues that people don’t bother to look into themselves. They listen to the talking heads on TV as opposed to forming their own opinions.”
That Paul is "weak on foreign policy," is a charge Shipton strongly denies.
"It's a shame people have that impression," Shipton said. "(Paul) believes in following the Constitution. If you’re going to go to war, declare it, don’t play these games."
This commitment to constitutionality is what has kept Shipton a Paul supporter since the 80s.
"He is really the only candidate that votes constitutionally," he said. "My biggest complaint is we’re in the mess we’re in because no one follows the Constitution ... The crisis that we’re facing as a nation is very simply, if we don’t make drastic changes very quickly, we’re going to collapse."