COLUMBIA — After helping U.S. Sen. John McCain win the S.C. primary and the GOP nomination, Trey Walker now is heading the Republican's fall operations in a must-win swing state.
Walker, a 41-year-old Irmo native, is one of a handful of South Carolinians heavily involved in McCain's campaign.
In May, McCain tapped Walker to head his Mid-Atlantic campaign - Delaware, the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, West Virginia and, possibly most important, Virginia.
Virginia is critical to McCain's presidential hopes. The Republican presidential candidate has not lost the state since 1964. And if McCain loses it in November, it could doom his chances of becoming president.
That is why Walker and the rest of McCain's Mid-Atlantic staff are leaving as little to chance as possible.
Using techniques perfected in George W. Bush's two presidential wins, McCain's Virginia team is digging deep into voter data to target those likely to vote for their candidate.
In particular, Walker and other McCain staffers are preparing for the critical 72 hours leading up the Nov. 4 election. They are organizing teams to get voters to the polls and ensuring workers are ready to check poll lists to make sure McCain's voters have, indeed, turned out.
Virginia in many ways is similar to South Carolina. It is Southern and has a large military population and rural areas.
But the Old Dominion's urban and suburban areas - surrounding Washington, D.C., Richmond and Norfolk - require a national-style, television-based campaign, not the retail politics that S.C. voters prefer, campaign staffers say.
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