Columbus, Ohio (CNN) – Two of Ohio's top Republicans on Saturday waved off a spate of polling that shows President Obama with a small but steady lead in the pivotal state.
"I am not worried about the public polls," said Sen. Rob Portman.
– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker
– Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.
"I don't think it will be close to what the polls are saying," echoed Gov. John Kasich.
Portman and Kasich, clad in Buckeye red, were attending a tailgate party organized by Mitt Romney's campaign outside Ohio Stadium, where an undefeated Ohio State team was preparing to host the University of Illinois.
A CNN/ORC poll released Friday showed Obama ahead of Romney by 50%-47% in Ohio heading into Election Day. Another Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist survey released Saturday showed Obama with a larger, six-point lead among likely voters here.
Internal Republican tracking shows the race much tighter, with Romney even holding a tiny lead in Ohio as recently as a few days ago, according to multiple GOP sources.
Kasich said GOP enthusiasm is being underestimated by public pollsters who are forecasting a Democratic turnout on par with the 2008 election.
"I don't feel the kind of enthusiasm among Democrats that I see among Republicans," he said. "The turnout models that show a bigger Democrat turnout than what is likely to occur, that's why I think Romney is going to win. It's intensity."
Portman noted that recent public polls in Ohio show Romney winning independent voters, and most are within the sampling error. He said Republican enthusiasm here reminds him of the 2000 election, when George W. Bush won Ohio by about 165,000 votes.
"We had in 2000 a lot of the energy and enthusiasm that we do today," he said. "In 2004 we won, but it was because we over-performed in small towns and rural areas. This year, I see it everywhere. People are really fired up."
Portman admitted that Hurricane Sandy "wasn't helpful" to the Romney campaign at a time when it had some momentum, but suggested televised images of frustrated storm victims in New York and New Jersey might have an impact on a small number of undecided voters this weekend.
"As usual in a major disaster like this, there are a lot of people who are concerned about the government not providing the assistance they deserve and need," Portman told CNN. "People are feeling like, 'Hey, where's FEMA? Where's the help that I was promised?'"
Oooops, the GOP has slid backwards into the poll conspiracy theries again!
Go check fivethirtyeight. Romney's toast!
"Whistling-by-the-graveyard" are we, Kasich? Sayin' it ain't so doesn't mean it... ain't so.
What else can they say? Unless they're gonna cheat guess they'll have to wait like the rest of us...
Looks like the three musketeers!!!!!!! I know the Ohio people will vote in Obama. The economy would be looking a lot worse if the auto industry had not been saved by the Obama administration.....
Couldn't agree more. Romney/Ryan 2012, from Ohio.
The country must reward black-mail, racism and dishonesty. Those are the hallmarks of Republican leadership: "vote for me because I deserve it. I'm white, rich and smarter than you people. How do you moochers and colored dare question my God-given rights?"
yes...the rebup higher ups that be have been very very confident.....am i smelling some foul play??? romney is losing by a landslide in MA where he was govenor and is losing in his birth town MI....yet his ppl keep saying he's got ohio in the bag,,,,the one state they know he has to win
i hope its not a repeat of 2004 or worse yet 2000.....
come dems...make sure you vote, don't let anything stop you, unless you want a bush 3
and i am curious as to why anyone in ohio is even voting for romney after he strongly opposed helping out the auto industry...that is until he found a way to make millions off the bailout, and run for pres,,,,in which he now says it was his idea...really ohio?
this is a guy he thinks 47% of moochers....that would be some of you, unless of course you are one of the 1%ers so it still confuses me why esp ohio would back this guy...do your research!!! he's a wolf in sheeps clothing
The GOPers like denial.
Denial for bishop Romey takin a beatin in Early voting in all the swing states. Its what a Racist like the mittster deserves. Ya ever see his crowd.... its like the Quarom of 12.... White, Whiter, Whitest & Stupid White.
Kasich is right, the final outcome won't be what the polls are saying because Obama's win will be larger. I live in Ohio and as a result have a clearer view of local sentiment, and better access to polling data analysis than the rest of the country (and this is true for anyone else living in any other swing state who have better access to what is going on in THEIR state – because the national news doesn't cover everything going on inside of each state). The polls in Ohio that show the largest lead for Obama stand at 8 points. The Republican Rasmussen polls are an outlier and as in 2008 they are very far from accurate. When all Ohio polling data is aggregated and graphed out Obama's lead here is 4 points with a margin of error of 1.8 points either way. This means Obama's actual polling lead is minimally 2.2 points. This is the number that many news organizations and Republican pundits are using to convey the idea that Ohio is essentially a tossup at the moment, but this is outright deception. So I conclude my comment the way I began it: Obama will win the state by more than 2.2 points, in fact he will win by at least double that number. In 2008 he won Ohio by 4.6 points. Democrat turnout in Ohio is higher this year than in 2008, so Obama could win by as much as 6 points, but the more likely is 4 points.
Any information that contradicts your own narrow minded beliefs is discarded. This is the mentality that republicans depend on for their party to survive.
What do you want them to say publicly "MItt is going to lose in Ohio?". To me it is spin only. The polls keep showing Obama leading in Ohio. The big reason is the auto bailout. Mitt was on the wrong side of this and the way he has handled it has only hurt him.
It's the ground game, baby. Obama canvassers are growing and they are FIRED UP! Yard signs, bumper stickers, and phone calls are okay but you cannot beat the one on one conversation at the door.
Portman is worthless. If I was undecided, I'd vote for whoever he didn't support.
We shall see, but I don't think the people of Ohio, are that impressed with Obama's performance.
lets all put on our mom jeans and get out and lie to the people. When ahead the repos love the polls . when behind they say they are not true. Forward 2012 Not back to the 1950;s
I'll bet you $10,000 Kasich loses his next election. Soooo many Ohio people are sick of him and his thugs.
The only reason why Portman and Kasich could possibly be dismissing the Ohio polls is because Tagg Romney's voting machines are crooked because they can't dismiss the voters who have made Obama their clear choice.
He's a liar - just like Boehner and Romney. Kasich and Boehner promised jobs jobs jobs and gave us abortion bills and obstructionism.
the republicans are nothing but socialists for the elite rich simple as that .
the more repos we vote out the better the presidents chances of moving forward
WE do not want another BUSH Whitehouse!
A classic case of denial.