Election 2012

Mitt to contributors: It feels good five days out

Mitt to contributors: It feels good five days out
W. Mitt Romney

An upbeat and engaged W. Mitt Romney spoke to contributors for the last time before the Nov. 6 election on a Nov. 1 conference call.

“This is the greatest collection of heroes in the history of the Republican Party,” said the former Massachusetts governor, who called in between campaign events in Virginia. “I want to thank you for all your work. This has been extraordinary.”

The governor said, “The enthusiasm, the energy, the passion is real and if we can continue to draw on that over the next five days, why, we’ll win this.”

There are two sides calling the election, Dick Morris has predicted a landslide and the Democrats are spinning that President Barack Obama is going to win, he said. “I don’t think I can make a 100 percent prediction, but I can tell you: It feels really good.”

Romney also thanked Spencer Zwick, the campaign’s finance chairman, and Neil Newhouse, the campaign’s pollster.

Both men hosted the call from Romney headquarters in Boston’s Northend, and had given very positive presentations on the campaign’s status and plans for the next five days before he joined the call.

Zwick said he was grateful to the contributors and assured them that the campaign had all the resources it needed to execute its plan for the next five days.

The pollster opened with a remark about the GOP nominee’s performance in the first debate with the president that bespoke the mood of the call. “I’ve become a lot more popular as a pollster since Oct. 3.”

Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse

Newhouse said the campaign early on used the 3-2-1 model first proposed by Karl C. Rove, the political strategist for President George W. Bush.

The part is to win the three traditional GOP-voting states Obama won in 2008: North Carolina, Indiana and Virginia, he said. The two are the states that are always on the bubble, Florida and Ohio. Then, the one is to pick any other state Obama won last time and pick it off.

Of the three, the first two are safely in the Romney column, but Virginia will be close, he said. In Virginia, demographic trends make it increasingly difficult for Republicans to win there. “It is a challenging state for us.”

Of the two, Newhouse said the campaign now has a solid lead in Florida and Ohio remains in flux. “Ohio shows anywhere from minus two to plus two in that state.”

If the Romney campaigns win both the Columbus media market and Independents, it will win the Buckeye State. “If we win Ohio, I can guarantee you that one of four or five states will come our way, states like: Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Michigan and Minnesota.”

As the Romney campaign expands its map, the map is shrinking for the president, he said. “We have more routes to 270, not fewer routes to 270.”

But, as the campaign expanded the playing field, it kept to its discipline of not going into additional states, unless the states where the Romney campaign was already targeting were fully-funded, Newhouse said.

Romney said he agreed with his pollster’s analysis completely.

“Neil is telling it to you straight, he’s been giving you the straight scoop,” Romney said.

“At this stage it looks very good for us, there is no such thing as certainty, but what I am seeing on the trail is that we have a very positive energy flow,” he said.

“People are coming to us every day, people are coming up to me, who are Democrats who voted for Obama last time, who are voting for us,” he said.

Romney said the campaign would not leave a single stone unturned, as it expanded the markets where it is advertising and making campaign stops.

Cognizant he was speaking to an audience that had contributed $800 million to support his hunt for a new home in Washington; the governor said his campaign spent its money responsibly.

“We have been a good deal wiser than some campaigns in the past,” he said.

“We have husbanded our resources well, so our campaign staff is much smaller than the president’s—but, that has allowed us to have funds to be up in the key market, in a very aggressive way. You’ve probably heard that we’re advertising in places, such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Minnesota, Wisconsin,” he said.

“Some of these states were considered out-of-reach only a couple months ago, but they are very much in potential play,” he said.

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