(CHICAGO) — “We have the math, they have the myth.” That’s how Obama campaign manager Jim Messina described the state of the race Wednesday, less than a week before voters head to the polls.
Democrats have been exuberantly confident about their prospects, swatting away speculation that new ads and campaign stops in states that had been considered safe — Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania — are signs of a struggling campaign.
“I’ve put my moustache on the line,” senior strategist David Axelrod said of Obama’s odds of holding the states.
The decision to spend money in those markets stems from a “theory throughout that we wouldn’t cede any state,” he said, noting new spots from Romney and his super PAC allies. Axelrod said that Obama for America has had a “contingency fund for this purpose.”
Both men accused the Romney campaign of pushing a fantasy about growing momentum in the polls and a potentially expanding electoral map.
“This professed momentum is really faux-mentum,” Axelrod said. “It’s fair to say we’ve come to break-glass time in Boston.”
“There is growing recognition on the other side that Ohio is fading away…there is no battleground state where they can be comfortable… They are looking for opportunities here as far-fetched as they may be,” he said.
Added Messina: “At this time next week, President Obama will have been elected for a second term.”
As for the potential political impact of Hurricane Sandy, Axelrod said he believes the storm “tended to freeze this race wherever you think this race is,” which in his view is Obama holding the lead.
President Obama will officially return to the campaign trail Thursday with events in Green Bay, Wis.; Las Vegas, Nev. and Boulder, Colo. The decision to return the president to the campaign trail was made because “we passed a threshold here and we do have an election on Tuesday and we owe it to folks to make the final arguments,” Axelrod said.
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