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Axelrod says Obama has Election Day edge, touts ‘cold, hard data’

President Obama’s senior campaign adviser, David Axelrod, on Tueday said polls and early-voting numbers showed Obama held the edge heading into Election Day. 

“The greater encouragement comes from the cold, hard data, which is that early vote in every battleground state that has early vote has been very robust in our favor,” Axelrod said on CBS. “And the polling has been very much in our favor.

“It is going to be a narrow race, but we are either even or ahead in almost every one of these — really every one of these battleground states,” he added.

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National polls show a tight race, but many battleground surveys have shown Obama with a slight edge, with Romney still in striking distance.

Both campaigns have claimed momentum in the final days of the campaign, with the Obama team pointing to swing-state polls that show Obama holding an edge in Ohio, while the Romney camp has pointed to the large crowds greeting the GOP nominee at events this weekend.

Axelrod said the Romney team "can take solace in their crowds; I’m going to look at the data.”

“The data is very encouraging. And now we just need to make sure our people come out and vote,” he added. 

Axelrod said that the Obama campaign has a robust ground operation and with the president not scheduled for any public events before the polls close, attention is now focused on the ground operation turning out the vote. 

Democrats have traditionally held the advantage in early voting. Romney senior adviser Kevin Madden, however, said Obama’s numbers have not been as robust as expected this year and Republicans are expected to turn out on Election Day.  

“Our high-propensity voters tend to come out on Election Day ... But nothing breeds organization like enthusiasm,” Madden said on CBS. “And the enthusiasm that we have seen all across this country in all these key battlegrounds states is really what is going to make the difference tonight. And it is really going to make sure that Gov. Romney tonight becomes President-elect Romney.”

Mitt Romney added two stops in Pennsylvania and Ohio on Election Day, while Obama is expected to remain in Illinois, where he will take part in a number of phone interviews and play a game of basketball. 

Madden said the extra Romney stops are not a sign of desperation. 

“If you know the governor like I do — I’ve been working with him now for six years — he is not somebody to sit around on Election Day,” Madden said.