FAIRFAX, Va. - Thousands of Republican volunteers braved scorching temperatures to knock on doors and canvass voters on Saturday as the party staged its first "Super Saturday" blitz hoping to energize supporters and rival Democrats' volunteer mobilization.
Republican party officials said volunteers were out in a dozen battleground states expected to see close contests in the Nov. 6 election between Democratic US President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
Obama captured all 12 - Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada and Iowa - when he won the White House in 2008, aided by armies of enthusiastic supporters who helped generate the highest voter turnout in 40 years.
Romney will need to swing a number of them back to the Republican column to defeat Obama this year. Drumming up voter enthusiasm could be a key, especially given polls showing Democrats are more enthusiastic about the 2012 contest than Republicans.