(NEW YORK) — The Obama campaign is “spiking the ball at the 30-yard line” if they think recent poll numbers prove the president has clinched victory in the critical swing state of Ohio, one of Mitt Romney’s top advisers said Tuesday.
A Washington Post poll out Tuesday found President Obama with an eight-point lead, but Romney advisers said their own internal polls paint a much more favorable picture for the Republican presidential nominee.
“The public polls are what the public polls are,” Romney Political Director Rich Beeson said on a flight between New York and Ohio Tuesday afternoon. “I kind of hope the Obama campaign is basing their campaign on what the public polls say. We don’t. We have confidence in our data and our metrics.”
“They’re sort of spiking the ball at the 30-yard line right now,” Beeson said of the Obama campaign’s view of Ohio. “There’s still 42 days to go. We are by any stretch inside the margin of error in Ohio. And the Obama campaign is going to have some problems there.”
Beeson said they “feel confident,” in Ohio and “each one of our states,” with “great faith” in their own data. Beeson pointed to places like Mahoney Valley, in eastern Ohio, a blue-collar Democratic area of the state, and the I-75 corridor on the other side of the state, as examples of places they are targeting that they believe are “going to have some problems” for the Obama campaign.
The new Washington Post poll, which found that Obama holds an eight-point lead in Ohio, 52 percent to Romney’s 44 percent, is just the latest to show the president with a big lead in the Buckeye State.
Beeson implied that their campaign’s internal polls show differently, giving them more confidence, but refused, when asked repeatedly, to divulge specifically what their polling numbers are showing for the critical swing state of Ohio.
“I’m not going to get into the specifics of what our polls say or don’t say,” he said. “I say that I trust our numbers and that’s what we’re basing our decisions off of, not the Washington Post.”
Beeson predicted that Ohio will “come down to the wire,” but he’s “confident” that Romney will “win.”
Advisers refused to call Ohio make-or-break for their campaign, insisting that there is a “wide open path” to 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
“We’re not in a situation where we’re forced into this boxed canyon to say ‘we have to win this string of states,’” Beeson said. “This is a wide open map.”
Romney campaign Digital Director Zac Moffett made the case for their ground game, which he says will make a real difference in the last six weeks of the election.
“The ground game is good for a field goal,” Moffett said. “If you’re within three points it can make a difference. That’s the bottom line metric, three points, give or take, you know, give or take a point, but it’s good for a field goal.”
The Romney campaign has knocked on 2 million more doors than they did in 2008, and they will knock on more than 10 million doors in the target states before Election Day, he said.
“When you look through the polling, both public and our internal polling, we are matching the Obama campaign on the ground,” Beeson said.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Jim Acosta and Greg Clary, CNN
Jennifer Rizzo, CNN
Eric Bradner, CNN