Romney Takes Message On Multi-State Final Push

NPR's Ari Shapiro has been crisscrossing battleground states with the Republican candidate Mitt Romney and his campaign. He speaks to weekends on All Things Considered host Guy Raz from Iowa about where Romney is focusing his attention in the final campaign sprint before Election Day.

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Let's turn now to another of our sleep-deprived correspondents, NPR's Ari Shapiro, who's been covering the Romney campaign. He's with the candidate in Iowa and on route to Colorado. Ari, what do the next 48 hours look like for the Romney team?

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: More states than I can count. We started in New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado, back to Iowa tomorrow. We get to Ohio and Pennsylvania. There's some Florida thrown somewhere in there. Basically, it's all adrenalin and carbohydrates, not a lot of sleep, in hopes that this puts the candidate over the finish line just as President Obama is doing.

RAZ: And what is his message now in these final hours?

SHAPIRO: Well, it's sort of a twofold message, and it's classic for a candidate to end on this sort of hope and optimism message. The other part that's really key is bipartisanship for Mitt Romney. He knows President Obama has a slim lead in important swing states, but that Romney has a lead among independent voters. So his last push these couple of days is all about winning over those independents with a message of unity, bipartisanship, working together, crossing the aisle and what may sound familiar, something that Romney calls big change.

RAZ: Let's talk about Colorado for a moment because could it be a path to victory for Romney if he loses Ohio?

SHAPIRO: Yeah. Essentially, Romney has two paths to victory: One goes through Ohio and the other involves winning a much larger number of other swing states. And among those others, Colorado is one where the polls have been very, very tight, tighter than some of the other swing states he's campaigning in these couple days. In Iowa, for example, President Obama seems to have a slightly larger lead than in Colorado.

But that's the reason you see instead of just a super focused intensity on a couple of states like Ohio, Florida and Virginia, you see a really wide map in these last couple days because if Ohio does not go Romney's way, well, then he really needs to win a large number of other states.

RAZ: That's NPR's Ari Shapiro with the Romney campaign in Iowa on route to Colorado. Ari, thanks so much. We'll talk to you again tomorrow.

SHAPIRO: You're welcome. Talk to you then.

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