Monday, 05 November 2012 22:02
ABOARD THE ROMNEY CAMPAIGN PLANE: Mitt Romney launched a final full day of campaigning Monday in swing state Florida, but his team did not rule out a last-minute trip to battleground Ohio on election day itself.
US media reported Romney was considering a polling day campaign trip, even as his press releases have described the last Monday event on the schedule -- late-night in New Hampshire -- as the "final victory rally" of the campaign.
Romney aides did nothing to knock back the reports.
"We'll advise a schedule and until then we don't have anything," senior aide Kevin Madden said about a Tuesday dash to Ohio.
Traveling press secretary Rick Gorka told reporters aboard Romney's plane that the schedule would be released Monday morning, "and if there is anything beyond that, we will update."
Romney and President Barack Obama have embarked on Monday campaign marathons as they stumped for the last narrowing wedge of undecided voters -- and pleaded with their supporters to help get out the vote.
With Ohio such a pivotal part of the election equation, both candidates converge on the Midwestern state Monday.
Aides said Romney was feeling upbeat about the race, which national polls show as a tossup.
But surveys show the president with a slim but steady lead in Ohio, and Obama may have a broader path to possible victory in the handful of battleground states that will decide the election.
That was not dissuading senior Romney strategist Stuart Stevens as he predicted victory for the challenger.
"We're never over-confident about these things, but we'll win," he told reporters, adding that while he expected Romney to prevail in Florida on Tuesday, "we don't take Florida for granted."
As for Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts who lost the Republican nomination to John McCain in 2008, he is enjoying the campaign's final hours.
"He's very eager to lead the country," Stevens said. "Very gratified at the response he's getting everywhere."
Gorka acknowledged that Romney and his team gathered on the plane were looking back fondly at an 18-month ride that took Romney to dozens of states and hundreds of campaign events.
"It's been a light mood up front, a lot of reminiscing," he told reporters.
"It's been an incredible journey. We're very very excited for these last events today, and we're very very optimistic about our chances tomorrow."
But he jokingly called out a reporter who asked if the campaign could keep the traveling press corps up to date on the details of Romney's final day, such as his "last meal" before the election.
"He's going to live beyond Tuesday," Gorka quipped.
Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012