Just two days from the finish, President Barack Obama’s campaign is mobilising a massive get-out-the-vote effort aimed at carrying the Democrat to victory, as Republican Mitt Romney makes a late play for votes in Democratic-leaning Pennsylvania.
Both campaigns were predicting wins in Tuesday’s election. Obama was closing out the campaign with an apparent edge in some key battleground states, including Ohio. But Romney’s campaign was projecting momentum and banking on late-breaking voters to propel him to victory in the exceedingly close race.
“Words are cheap and a record is real and it's earned with effort,” Romney said on Saturday, making a final appeal to voters in Colorado.
The Republican was cutting away briefly on Sunday from the nine or so competitive states that have dominated the candidates' travel itineraries this fall. Romney, along with running mate Paul Ryan, had an early evening event planned in Morrisville, Pa., his first rally in the state this fall.
Romney’s visit follows the decision by his campaign and its Republican allies to put millions of dollars in television advertising in Pennsylvania during the race’s final weeks. Obama’s team followed suit, making a late advertising buy of its own.
The Republican ticket cast the late push into the Keystone State as a sign that Romney had momentum and a chance to pull away states that Obama’s campaign assumed it would win handily.
The president's team called the move a “Hail Mary” and a sign Romney still doesn't have a clear pathway to reaching the required 270 Electoral College votes.
Democrats have a million-voter registration advantage in Pennsylvania. Obama senior adviser David Plouffe said that means Romney would have to win two-thirds of the state's independents, a prospect he called "an impossibility." Obama had a full schedule, with campaign stops on Sunday in New Hampshire, Florida, Ohio and Colorado.
The president's rallies are aimed at boosting Democratic enthusiasm and motivating as many supporters as possible to cast their votes, either in the final hours of early voting or on Tuesday, Election Day. Persuading undecided voters, now just a tiny sliver of the electorate in battleground states, has become a secondary priority. Obama and former President Bill Clinton drew 24,000 people to an outdoor rally in Bristow, Va., on a cold Saturday night.