"Here in New Hampshire, we've been working all year," says Mary Rauh, a member of Obama's state steering committee.
Local Democrats are motivated, she says, by the aggressive actions of the Republican-led state Legislature and their familiarity with Romney's policies.
"Mitt Romney has said, 'Planned Parenthood, we're going to end that,'" she says. "The good news is that it's getting women moving. We're going back in history 35 or 40 years."
After a post-primary respite, New Hampshire airwaves are beginning to fill once again with political advertising.
As of last week, Obama's campaign had spent more than $2 million on television ads, while Romney hadn't spent anything, according to data obtained by The Associated Press. But Romney's Republican allies have picked up the slack. His super PAC, Restore Our Future, and the conservative group Crossroads GPS have spent more than $2.1 million on New Hampshire advertising, most of it attacking Obama.
New Hampshire was solidly Republican for a generation, but hasn't supported a Republican presidential candidate since 2000. The evolving electorate is considered far less partisan than voters in other states, although Republicans scored historic gains in the 2010 midterms.
With both sides preparing for a close election, the state's four electoral votes could be critical in reaching the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency, according to Romney political director Rich Beeson.
"This is not a state we won in 2008. We're playing on the Obama team's turf," he says. "Any state that we can take away is a state that makes it harder for them and easier for us to get to 270."
Convenience may also be a factor
Former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu notes that most of the population lies "on the straight line between (Romney's) place on Lake Winnepesaukee and his Belmont, Mass. home.
"It's an easy investment of time on an important state," Sununu says.
There's also cause for optimism for Romney, even inside one of Obama's recent house parties. From the floor of Hogarty's small home, a college-aged volunteer was locked in a conversation with a frustrated voter for several minutes.
"The progress has been slower that we'd like. I'm sorry to hear that, sir," said the Obama volunteer.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.