Republicans say that this time around, they are light-years ahead of the lackluster voter turnout efforts in 2008 for Senator John McCain, whose campaign began running short of money in the late stages.

“We learned from a lot of research and testing that volunteer door knocking is the purest form of voter contact,” said Rich Beeson, national political director for the Romney campaign.

Both sides acknowledge that as they pour millions of dollars into television ads, a rough parity will exist in the air war. In the coming week, the Obama campaign and its outside allies and the Romney campaign and its backers will spend roughly the same in Florida, totaling over $8 million, according to a firm that tracks political advertising…

“When it comes to a close race, a ground game is good for that final field goal,” said Mr. Doster, who ran George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign in the state.