Obama aides express confidence amid campaign rituals
All pathways that could lead Obama to 270 electoral votes 'intact,' Axelrod says
Top aides to President Barack Obama on Monday expressed their confidence in an Election Day victory and placed stock in their campaign rituals.
"It's like the end of a long running series and all the characters are coming back," said David Axelrod, who has been a longtime aide to Obama, both on the campaign trail and in the White House.
Axelrod and David Plouffe, who was Obama's campaign manager in 2008 and is currently a senior adviser in Obama's White House, briefed reporters in Madison, Wisconsin at Obama's first of three campaign events wearing their 2008 campaign black fleece jackets.
Monday is Obama's final day on the campaign trail as a candidate, and Plouffe said the candidate was heading into it "incredibly energized," both by the prospects for winning a second term and working together with Republicans if he stays in the White House.
"We move into a slightly different stage" in a second term, he said, regarding the ability of Obama to work with Republicans on Capitol Hill, should he win reelection.
On the strategic side, Axelrod said Team Obama had mapped out many ways to 270 and "all those pathways are intact."
The most direct route for Obama to reach 270 electoral votes would be to hold each of the states listed as solid or leaning in his favour on the CNN Electoral Map, including Pennsylvania, and win Florida and Ohio, the two largest states considered a "toss up" between him and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney. Another oft-discussed route would be through Iowa, Ohio, and Wisconsin, the so-called "Midwestern firewall."
A series of polls in several key battlegrounds show the race is extremely tight.
Romney's campaign has expressed similar confidence, with senior adviser Kevin Madden telling reporters Sunday evening, "I think we're going to win on Tuesday, and I think we're going to win on Tuesday because we've had the best closing message, the best closing argument -- and because of the enthusiasm that we've seen for the governor."
Axelrod said Monday he expected Obama to win both the Electoral College and the popular vote.
In another election ritual, Obama is expected to hit the basketball court this week, and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Obama's former personal aide, Reggie Love, was directed to put together a game. Love was at Obama's side throughout the 2008 campaign and for the first half of Obama's White House term, and previously played basketball for Duke University.
"I think it's safe to say all rituals will be observed," Gibbs said.
Copyright 2012 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.