Columbus, Ohio (CNN) - In the face of poll numbers showing a challenging path to victory Tuesday, particularly in Ohio, Mitt Romney's campaign is telling allies to talk up Republican chances in Democratic-leaning states while insisting that "GOP enthusiasm" will carry Romney to victory on Election Day.
In a memo circulated Saturday to top Republican leaders and surrogates in the media, the Romney campaign says they are "forcing Obama on defense" in states he won handily in 2008 – including Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania, where Romney will campaign on Sunday.
- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.
The memo was provided to CNN by a Republican source outside the Romney campaign, which frequently sends out confidential talking points to GOP senators, congressmen and governors.
The memo distributed Saturday is titled "GOTV and the Romney-Ryan ground game."
"With the campaigns even on the ground and in early vote, GOP enthusiasm is going to carry Romney to victory," it reads.
Under a section named "Path To Victory," the memo lists Iowa, Wisconsin and Ohio as "Obama's firewall" (despite the fact that Obama can afford to lose Iowa if he also wins Nevada, where he is favored). Polls show Obama with a slight advantage over Romney in all three Midwestern states.
"Mitt Romney is up or tied with Obama in every key battleground state, forcing Obama on defense in states he won by double digits in 2008 like WI, IA, MI, MN and PA," the memo reads. "Obama's firewall includes two states – WI and IA – he won by double digits and is even with Romney in the polls today."
It continues, "Ohio is his other firewall – a state Obama has been visiting for 4 years and has spent millions of dollars on the air. Obama is behind where he was in 2008 in early vote. The Republican ground game is going to push us over the top."
The document provides data on the number of voter contacts the campaign has made in various battleground states.
It also touts Republican gains in early voting since the last election, when Republicans were out-maneuvered by the Obama campaign in early and absentee balloting in several states.
Polls show Obama leading Romney by double digits among early voters in Ohio and Iowa, two of the states described in the memo as part of Obama's firewall.