Published: Jul 03, 2012 6:27 PM EDT

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - Call them passionate, idealistic, earnest, even a tad naive.
    
The volunteers powering President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney's presidential campaigns share at least one trait: an abiding faith in the political process and a belief that who occupies the White House still matters.
    
Many voters aren't so optimistic. An Associated Press-GfK poll taken in June found less than half of adults say the outcome of the Nov. 6 election will make a great deal of difference on the economy, unemployment and the federal budget deficit.
    
Both sides rely heavily on volunteer labor even as spending on high-priced staples like TV ads, polling and consultants keeps rising. Many of a campaign's most labor intensive tasks - from staffing offices to making phone calls to registering voters - are done by volunteers.

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