All politics is local, or so the saying goes.

It hasn’t seemed that way in Maine since Republican U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe announced her retirement and thrust Maine into a national partisan chess game over control of Congress. Out-of-state groups have poured millions of dollars into television ads aimed at swaying Maine voters.

But now, less than a week before Election Day, the three leading Senate candidates are chasing votes in the tried-and-true ways that have endured for generations. They’re speaking to fellow Mainers on Main Streets, in college classrooms, at football games and in cafes.

The Portland Press Herald dispatched reporters and photographers to spend a day with each of the three candidates and document life in the home stretch of this hard-fought Senate race.

What the newspaper found is that amid all of the national attention, the TV ads and the out-of-state money, the candidates are following the old political mantra and focusing on one community, one neighborhood and one voter at a time.

They’re also living their lives, squeezing in dinner with friends and some face time with spouses and children.

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