With the crowd at the convention center cheering every state that lands in his column, President Obama's camp is cautiously optimistic about his chances tonight.
"What we're seeing from these early numbers is that this looks a lot like the coalition that elected the president the first time around," said campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt said. "Strong turnout around Ohio, strong turnout around Madison, strong turnout around Charlottesville (VA). More African-Americans have voted in Virginia this time than in 2008. Still a lot of time to go and a lot of states to go, but no major surprises."
He said the campaign had considered Romney's late-election venture into Pennsylvania a stretch.
"We had told you guys for a long time that you could put Pennsylvania in play a week out by tossing out a few million dollars in the air and taking a trip there," he said. "I think in these states that hadn't been heavily contested, we had our organization on the ground for two years, reaching undecided voters, and in the states where there hadn't been a big battle between the candidates, that allowed us to hold those states, states like Pennsylvania and Michigan."
He said the campaign's strategy of pursuing different paths to 270 electoral votes may have worked.
"In terms of the map, what we said in the beginning was we never wanted this to be 2004 and 2000 where you retreat to one state at the end and just choose Ohio or just choose Florida," he said. "We wanted to chart multiple paths to victory, a southern route a midwestern route,a western route. I think it will bear out that it was a smart strategy to take those multiple routes to victory because you're seeing these states tonight, many are very tight."