(CNN) - A top adviser for Mitt Romney's campaign explained Sunday why he thinks the GOP nominee can win Pennsylvania, a Democratic-leaning battleground that Romney's team has lumped into its final swing-state push.
"You have Obama who is under-performing, and we're over-performing and as a result you have president in a critical battleground state below 50 (percent) and it's presented us an opportunity," Kevin Madden said on a flight with reporters.
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A Franklin and Marshall College poll released Wednesday showed the president had a 49%-45% advantage over Romney in the state, a tighter margin than other polls have shown. In the last week, the campaign has purchased major ad time in the Keystone State, and Romney himself is making a campaign stop there Sunday, following a visit his running made in Pennsylvania on Saturday.
Madden said the campaign is seeing a "real response" to Romney's message among independent voters in counties around Philadelphia, particularly on economic issues.
"We have a really strong volunteer infrastructure that we think could make a difference, and that's why we're traveling there with two days to go, and we have spent a lot of time uh, spent some time in the last few weeks concentrating on expanding the map," Madden added.
President Barack Obama's campaign said it feels confident about the state–which Obama carried by 10% over Sen. John McCain in 2008–and called Romney's expanded map strategy an "act of desperation." Not ceding any ground, however, Team Obama also took out ad time to match the Romney purchase.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, former chief of staff to Obama, said Sunday the campaign "is set" in Pennsylvania but cautioned it was better to be safe than sorry.
"I think Pennsylvania is secure, but you don't take anything for granted," Emanuel said on CNN's "State of the Union."
On the flight, Madden also pushed back against the argument made by some commentators, including Republicans, who say Superstorm Sandy and the surrounding media coverage could ultimately hurt Romney's presidential bid.
"The hurricane is what broke Romney's momentum. I don't think there is any question about it," former Republican Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour said on "State of the Union," adding that the storm took attention away from what he described as the contrast between Romney and Obama.
Madden, however, said he doesn't look at how the storm affected "people through a political lens."
"Instead," he continued, "we are focused on what we can do to make sure that the enthusiasm that we have seen in states, that it's part of helping our get-out-the-vote efforts."
Having already attended rallies Sunday in Ohio and Iowa, Romney also holds events in Pennsylvania and Virginia. In the final days before the election, Romney has been crisscrossing the country, making his closing argument in several battlegrounds.
Projecting an air of confidence, Madden said he, the former Massachusetts governor and other advisers were passing the time Saturday by shouting out their favorite movie lines on the plane.
While Romney said his favorite film was "O Brother, Where Art Thou!" others chimed in with lines from "Diner" and "Anchorman."
– CNN Political Producer Rachel Streitfeld contributed to this report.
Big up for critical analysises about US's politics
Ann and Mitt were served papers yesterday for unethical behavior having to do with her Illegal Money in Bermuda.
They've been caught. No wonder she cried yesterday and today. Look it up. Don't take my word for it.
Romney is desperate
WOW . at least 20,000 people in Mooresville, Pa. for Romney ? That's what the police said they just let through the gates to the rally for Mitt Romney !! This is an Obama stronghold. How could this be ? This could be because so many people that were taken up in the Hope and Change of Obama in 08' now have seen the real Barak Obama . The Obama they now see is an angry , shallow, small man that cannot run on his record and is STILL blaming Bush for his own failures. They see hope in Mitt Romney and see him for the honest,caring and faithful man that he really is and not the Ogre that Obama has told them that he is. A vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for God and Country and NOT a vote for REVENGE !! A vote for Mitt is a vote for an open and honest Administration not one that covers up the deaths of 4 Americans in Libya, or why a border patrol agent was killed over guns that were being run to Mexico by this administration. We have to Open our eyes so that what has failed in the past 4 years does not continue to bring our great nation down. Go Pa. Vote Mitt ! !
What Romney really needs is to have so many in the rural areas go out and vote with an extreme effort. If he doesn't, than PA stays with Obama. It is unlikely to flip because the get out the vote effort is the two major cities is very good.
Mittens should be working on his concession speech.
There is a stark contrast! Yes, YOU have a choice!
The President with a fine record getting us out of the GOP hole and moving forward with an ever stronger economy! And so many other important things the country needed so bad!
Gov. Romney with a dismal record in Massachusetts and an exellent "harvesting" record in business! He is ready to harvest the whole country for his "friends" (Halliburton anyone? “Blackwater” had to even change the name to “Academi” so nobody would know what they did!). Romney stands ready to trickle down on YOU and move what we have worked so hard to fix – "up" again. Why do you think a “few” donated so much to Romney’s campaign? To support THE PEOPLE??? REMEMBER deficits don’t matter when the GOP is in the take! They do not care about “math” – they just take!
This is not a difficult choice! President Obama! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!