Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, seen in West Allis, Wis.,… (Emanuel Dunand, Jewel Samad…)
President Obama's and Mitt Romney’s campaigns took to the final preelection Sunday shows, making their closing arguments and offering predictions for Tuesday's much-anticipated results.
A particular point of contention was the idea that the Romney campaign has successfully broadened its electoral possibilities, and has become resurgent in key battleground states such as Pennsylvania and Virginia. This path to 270 electoral votes is of particular importance to the Romney campaign given that continued polling puts him behind Obama in Ohio.
On Sunday during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week,” senior Romney campaign advisor Ed Gillespie declared that “the map has expanded,” saying that along with Pennsylvania and Virginia, the campaign has brought Wisconsin and Minnesota back into play.
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“We have a strong agenda that’s resonating – that’s why we’re going to win Tuesday,” he said.
Gillespie attributed this in part to a perceived split between Obama's and Romney’s campaign messaging.
“What I hear from the president is an ‘energize the base’ message,” Gillespie said, asserting that Romney’s “bigger, broader” message is gaining traction among the wider electorate.
Romney’s political director, Rich Beeson, reiterated the importance of the former governor’s message.
“There’s an intensity factor out there on the side of the Republicans that is a significant gap and we see it out on the ground.… It gets back to the simple fact that Gov. Romney is out there talking about big things and big change,” Beeson said on “Fox News Sunday,” saying that intensity will be reflected in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio.
White House senior advisor David Plouffe scoffed at the Romney campaign’s contention, dismissing the narrative of an expanding map as a “desperate ploy” serving as a “smokescreen” the distract from the campaign’s purported unsteadiness in states like Virginia and Florida.
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“If you look at states like Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Nevada, New Hampshire, Colorado … all these states right now we think the president is in a good position to win,” Plouffe said on NBC’s “Meet the Press."
“We think Gov. Romney is playing defense. He’s spending his last day in Florida and Virginia on Monday, states they were telling you in the media a few weeks ago they thought were a done deal,” he said.
But Plouffe was clear in highlighting a critical issue for the Obama campaign’s path to victory.
“Support levels don’t mean anything if they don’t materialize into votes,” he said on “This Week.”
Senior Obama campaign advisor David Axelrod echoed Plouffe during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” saying that efforts by the Romney campaign to expand the electoral battleground have failed.
“They understand that the traditional, or battleground, states that we’ve been focusing on are not working out for them. Now they’re looking for somewhere, desperately looking for somewhere,” Axelrod said.
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