By Meghashyam Mali - 11/06/12 12:32 PM EST
“It’s terrific that Mitt Romney’s campaigning today — he’s also going to vote, but he’s going to be in Pittsburgh, as I understand it, and Cleveland — you know, we’re going to push this right to the end,” said Portman, in an interview with Fox News.
Portman said that delivering Ohio, a crucial battleground for both the GOP candidate and President Obama, would come down to each campaign’s ground game.
“It’s about energy and enthusiasm at this point … and we’ve got the momentum on our side. I’ve seen it at our rallies in the phone calls and door-knocks,” said Portman. “We’ve knocked on 20 times more doors this year than in all of 2008. I think it’s going to be a good day for us, but I think it’s going to be very close.”
A number of surveys show the race is still a toss-up as voters head to the polls. Almost all surveys, though, give Obama a slight lead or have the race tied.
The final Ohio Poll released late Monday showed Obama leading Romney with 50 percent support to 48.5. A poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling also on Monday, though, gives the president a wider lead, 52-47.
Portman said that the Romney campaign’s internal numbers suggested independent voters would break for the GOP nominee.
“I’m pretty happy with the polling numbers we’ve seen internally in terms of the independent voters in terms of the folks we used to call Reagan Democrats, blue-collar workers who might be Democrats nominally but are more conservative on many of the issues Gov. Romney is talking about,” he said.
Asked if Romney could win without Ohio, Portman said it was “possible, but tough.”
“I wouldn’t want to take the risk of losing it. There’s a possibility you could put it together through other states, but I think we are going to win in Ohio. I’ve got a good feel for this on the ground. I didn’t feel this in 2008, frankly."