Kevin Madden, a senior adviser to Mitt Romney, told reporters Wednesday that the campaign is confident that the Republican presidential nominee will win Ohio in part because Romney is besting President Obama in some polls among independent voters there.
"We expect it to be close," Madden said. "I think the Obama campaign expected it to be close. But I think where we feel most confident is that we’re playing offense with the map whereas they’re playing defense. A couple weeks ago, they were talking about all these states that were absolutely safe – like Minnesota, like Pennsylvania, like Michigan. They felt the need to go up in those states with ads and pour resources into it, and so we feel like they’re defending territory while we’re on offense. So as a result, we feel like we’re really well positioned right now.”
When a reporter pointed out that Romney has yet to lock down Virginia and Florida, two other battleground states that are central to his electoral calculus, Madden said, "A really good campaign doesn't think anything’s locked down until Election Day."
Madden said Romney has "an expanded map" to reach 270 electoral votes. "We’re confident we’re on offense and that we’re in a great position to win on election day, and I think it’s pretty clear from both their tone, their tenor and their actions that [the Obama campaign is] playing defense right now with the map," Madden said.
Senior Obama adviser David Axelrod pledged to shave his mustache if the president loses Michigan, Minnesota or Pennsylvania. The Obama campaign is planning to go on the air in any state Republicans do.
The Fix looked at Romney's map this morning and concluded that it's unlikely any of the three will turn into toss-ups, "but if somehow they did, it would make the math much easier for Romney."