Elections

              Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and wife Ann Romney stand on stage at a campaign rally at The Patriot Center at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Va. governor, congressman: High enthusiasm will take Romney across finish line in Virginia

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

Virginia Republicans Rep. Randy Forbes and Gov. Bob McDonnell told The Daily Caller they’re confident their state’s 13 electoral votes will go to Mitt Romney.

“The people are excited everywhere I go,” Forbes told TheDC in a Monday phone interview. “I’m sure there’s a world out there that’s excited for the president. I can tell you, I’ve just never experienced this kind of excitement for one of our candidates.”

In 2008, President Barack Obama flipped Virginia blue for the first time since 1964.

“It’s a close race,” McDonnell cautioned, adding that he thinks Romney “wins for a couple reasons.”

“Number one, he’s spent a significant amount of time and resources here in Virginia, especially in the closing weeks,” McDonnell said. “He and Paul Ryan have been fixtures in Virginia – I think the personal contact matters a lot. Secondly, this is a traditional right-of-center state, and 2008 was a departure from that trend. I think that, overwhelmingly, jobs and the economy and debt and energy are the top issues for Virginians, and defense spending – and those are things that favor Gov. Romney over the record of the president.”

“And, I think, thirdly, there are a couple of things that are very positive for us heading into the home stretch,” McDonnell continued. “One is we have got the best grassroots effort that we have ever had in the state. I think we got beat handily in ’08 by the Obama campaign here. But, now, I’d say it’s even or better – a tremendous plus for the closing stretch. And another thing, the general enthusiasm among our team is palpable, and it’s better.”

“For all those reasons, I think we win,” McDonnell said. “For a president to go into Election Day at 47 or 48 percent, that means he hasn’t closed the deal, and so undecided voters will break for Gov. Romney. I think it’s going to be very close, but turnout is likely going to be the deciding issue. But I do think, by a couple points, Gov. Romney does win Virginia.”

Forbes said he thinks the ground game on both sides has been “very strong,” adding that “Republicans are far more energized and excited about Mitt Romney than Democrats are for the president.”

“That’s the big difference,” he said. “You don’t find a lot of people who are passionate about four more years of Obama. You just find people who are trying to defend and justify what the president has done for the last four years.”

Pointing to the big crowds at Romney events, Forbes said he’s “never seen enthusiasm like this in my career in 20-something years.”

“You don’t get those kinds of crowds when you have people who are just voting against somebody,” he added. “The reason those crowds are growing so enormously is because they’re believing in Mitt Romney and that has been a huge transition that many people I think have missed. I’m seeing it. But, you don’t have to measure it just by those crowds. You can measure it when you go in a Home Depot or a Lowe’s, when you go in a supermarket, and you see the people that are telling you they are just excited about the opportunity to have Mitt Romney as the next president.”