Ohio Gov. John Kasich defended his state Wednesday amid reports alleging possible voter fraud at early polling places, saying that bipartisan teams of election officials are watching over the voting process "like a hawk."
Appearing on Fox News's Sean Hannity show, the Republican said his administration "had planned for this," referring to possible attempts by some manipulate the process.
"We have probably the most bipartisan, sophisticated vote counting operation that you can find in the country. There are always two Republicans overlooking the shoulders of two Democrats and vice versa," said Kasich, a strong supporter of GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
"We had planned for this. We are prepared to provide the security. The secretary of state has been on this, but — I don't know how they do it in all the other states — but, boy, I'll tell you they watch one another like a hawk. Frankly, that is the way it ought to be."
The governor also addressed some reports out today suggesting a dead even race in the state between Romney and President Barack Obama.
Kasich confirmed seeing "really remarkable enthusiasm" for Romney, but he all but dismissed polls suggesting a Romney surge across the state, saying, "I am convinced that God created pollsters to make astrologers look accurate. It's not a pure science."
Still, he said he believes Romney is connecting with voters, primarily as a result of his first debate performance in which, the governor said, the presidential contender proved that "he gets us."
"I think that is why he is going to win Ohio," Kasich told Hannity.
"But I also have to tell you that those people who are Romney supporters better be working because it's going to be extremely close," he added.
The governor acknowledged that Ohio citizens are "feeling better" about the economy, which could help the president, but still know "there is a wind in our face" that could hamper a complete recovery.
"What really matters is the wallet. Do you have a job? This is always been the case in Ohio," he said.
But he said what Ohioans care about most "is who is the best job creator." Romney, he added, fits the bill better than Obama.
"That first debate was so critical because that is where Romney broke through," Kasich added, referring to his message on job creation and moving the economy forward.
In a separate appearance on Fox News' "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Romney's progress in Ohio could be traced to how independents are leaning.
"On every single poll that you're seeing, independents are voting for Romney in Ohio. And what it will also show you is that there hasn't been a winner in Ohio that hasn't won independents," he told Van Susteren. "Guess who's winning independents? Mitt Romney's winning independents."
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