FAIRFAX, VA. – Just 20 miles away from the White House on Monday afternoon, Ann Romney knew how to rile up the crowd of northern Virginians at one of the last rallies of the presidential campaign.
“Are we going to be neighbors soon?” she asked in this swing state, getting the response from the juiced-up crowd she anticipated.
The audience inside the gym at the George Mason University Patriot Center roared as they waved small American flags. Women held up signs that read, “Moms for Mitt.”
“There’s as many of you outside as inside right now,” the candidate’s spouse continued, referencing the long lines of supporters who showed up to get a glimpse of the Romneys on Monday.
“That’s the momentum we have been feeling,” she said. “It’s not just in Virginia. It’s all across this country. And that’s what leads me to believe that I’m standing next to the next president of the United States.”
Whether this enthusiasm for Mitt Romney is stronger than the enthusiasm of President Barack Obama’s supporters — and enough to propel Romney to the White House — will only be determined by the results of the most important poll of polls: Tuesday’s election.
Over the last several days, both campaigns intensified their schedules, barnstorming important swing states like Ohio, Virginia, Florida, Colorado and Wisconsin. On the trail, Obama has been joined by superstar celebrities like John Mellencamp, Stevie Wonder, Dave Mathews and Bruce Springsteen.
As Election Day dawns, national polls show a tight race. Of the five national polls released Monday, two have Romney up one percentage point, one has Obama up three percentage points and two have the race an exact tie. The RealClearPolitics polling average gives Obama the narrowest of edges — 48.8 percent to Romney’s 48.1 percent.
But presidential races aren’t won on the national level; they are won on the state level, where both candidates are racing to secure 270 electoral votes. The race will really be decided by the outcome of, at most, 11 or 12 swing states, where the campaigns have directed their energy and financial resources.
If you went by the RealClearPolitics polling average in each of the swing states, Obama would be on the path to score a big electoral victory, 303 to 235. But Obama’s lead in many of the states is razor thin — well within the margins of error.