(McClatchy News) WASHINGTON — The National Rifle Association, a Ralph Reed-led social conservative group and other organizations have quietly begun pumping millions of dollars into voter-registration drives and get-out-the-vote efforts to defeat President Barack Obama and aid GOP congressional candidates.

The strategy, coupled with Republican-backed voter ID laws enacted in at least a dozen states, poses a threat to Democrats by attempting to offset or even outperform traditionally effective voter mobilization efforts by organized labor and liberal groups.

It signals that, still seven months before Election Day, both sides are escalating funding for the ground wars, which are typically carried out below the radar but could be decisive in closely divided battleground states.

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