Mitt Romney adviser Ed Gillespie expressed confidence Monday night that Republican voters would turn up at the polls in greater numbers than Democrats this election year, giving Romney a good chance to win several swing states that Obama took in 2008.
"We have momentum and we're going to capitalize on that," he told Fox News' Sean Hannity, predicting "a big, big win" for the GOP nominee in Pennsylvania and Virginia, where Romney has been focusing much of his time and money in the closing days of the 2012 presidential campaign.
"We've been impressed by the gap that we see in all of the polls where Republican voters, Romney voters, are much more likely to vote than President Obama's voters," Gillespie, adding that that could make the difference in the race.
"Across the country, when you're the incumbent president of the United States this close to Election Day and you're as far below 50 percent [in the polls] as he is, you are in deep trouble," added Gillespie, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee.
He said the campaign expects Romney's appeal to coal country voters in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Virginia to really pay off, given the administration's current energy and regulation policies which have Republicans claim have thrown thousands of miners and other energy workers out of jobs.
Gillespie said the focus in Virginia on the looming fiscal crisis prompted by automatic spending cuts, or budget sequestration, at the end of the year is also resonating with voters, many of whom work as government contractors.
Concerns about the loss of defense and other government contracts, he suggested, will help drive the vote to Romney.
"Romney is going to carry Virginia," Gillespie said, adding: "We have a great ground game. And most importantly, we have a great message that's resonating very much in Virginia . . . where the sequestration, the effect of these random, arbitrary, and deep defense cuts are going to have a very dramatic impact."
Add to that "the coal economy" in the southwestern part of the state, Gillespie continued, and Romney is likely "to have a good night in Virginia" when the votes are finally tallied.
Asked about the possibility of taking the critical battleground of Ohio, Gillespie said early voting appears to indicate that Romney is doing much better than 2008 Republican nominee John McCain.
"We are over-performing in our early votes compared to where we were in 2008 and Democrats are underperforming, and that's consistently true," he told Hannity.
Asked by how much, Gillespie replied, "About 253,000 votes."
"That a significant swing in Ohio. It depends on the state, Sean, but everywhere that pattern is the case," he added. "And that's why we feel so good because we know that we're going to perform very well."
Gillespie said Republicans still expect to turn out their "high-propensity voters," as he called them, today, which is one more reason the Romney campaign expects to surprise push that will take them past Obama in the vote count tonight.
He said the problem for the Democrats is that they've "been cannibalizing their election day vote" by pushing early and absentee voting so hard. As a result, he suggested the Obama campaign doesn't have much of a voting base left to turn out in any great numbers to vote in person.
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