- (Photo: REUTERS)
On Monday, Mitt Romney began his day by addressing a few thousand voters in an airport hangar just north of Orlando. By the end of a busy day that included five stops, the former Massachusetts governor soaked up applause from the 12,000-plus who gathered to hear him where his campaign began.
As he composed himself after a two-minute ovation, Romney thanked the New Hampshire crowd, telling them he could not have secured the nomination without their help.
"This is where our campaign began. You got this campaign started," said Romney. "Your primary vote put me on the path to win the Republican nomination, and tomorrow your votes and your work her in New Hampshire will help me become the next president of the United States."
Compared to where he began in 2011, Romney has come a long way from the New Hampshire living rooms of five or six people to the 20,000 people who greeted him and Paul Ryan during the last full week of campaigning.
Unlike President Obama who made his final campaign stump speech in Iowa Monday night, the Romney campaign decided to add an additional two stops in Ohio and Pennsylvania on Tuesday.
Obama and his family are in Chicago awaiting the election results and he is participating in a basketball game, which has become an Election Day tradition for him.
But regardless of crowd size, Romney's campaign team wants to capitalize on the momentum he appeared to have before Hurricane Sandy ravaged parts of the East Coast. Former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour seemed to think the storm may have interrupted Romney's pace and given Obama a slight edge.
"Any day that the news media is not talking about jobs and the economy, taxes and spending, and debt, 'ObamaCare' and energy, is a good day for Barack Obama," he said on Sunday.
By Tuesday morning Barbour had gotten more positive. "We got a dead heat race," he said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "I feel very good about Romney … But we've got a close race."
New York Times reporter Jeff Zeleny also commented on Romney's momentum during an appearance Sunday on "Fox News Sunday."
"In these battleground states ... one of the things you pick up, there is a real sense of enthusiasm for the Romney campaign. ... I did not run into one Republican voter at rallies, or just on the street ... who are not happy about electing Mitt Romney, as opposed to electing someone to beat President Obama," said Zeleny. "That is a significant change. And on the other side, the excitement and enthusiasm is not there as it was four years ago for President Obama."
After voting in Massachusetts this morning, Romney and his wife Ann swing through the important states of Ohio and Pennsylvania before returning to Boston for what they hope to be an election night victory party.