Romney maps out five-day election end game

The answer should come as no surprise: Ohio, Colorado, Iowa and New Hampshire, battlegrounds which election experts define as the biggest prizes in the 2012 race, will feature prominently — as well as a few Democrat-leaning states that the Republican challenger insists are in play.


Romney is locked in the tightest of races with President Barack Obama, who is also on a mad dash across swing states ahead of election day on November 6.

Romney starts his Friday campaigning in Wisconsin, which has voted for the Democratic Party since 1988 but which his team says has come into play given Obama’s slipping poll numbers there over the past month.

Both candidates will then converge on pivotal Ohio, where they have sunk vast amounts of money into television advertising.

No Republican has clinched the White House without also winning the Buckeye State, and so after a stop in Columbus, Romney will kick off one of the biggest events of his campaign.

The “Real Recovery Road Rally” in West Chester, Ohio will feature his running mate Paul Ryan and dozens of prominent Republicans such as ex-secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and Senator John McCain.

On Saturday Romney will blitz across New Hampshire, Iowa and Colorado.

And on Sunday, after bouncing back to Iowa, he will stop in Pennsylvania, another Democrat-leaning state that the campaign hopes to poach from the president.

Pennsylvania has been in Obama’s column for months, with the latest Real Clear Politics average of polls showing the incumbent up 4.6 percentage points.

But Team Romney has consistently dismissed polls as giving an incomplete picture in many states — Pennsylvania and Ohio among them — where they feel the challenger has built recent momentum that they argue could translate into stronger-than-expected turnout.

On Monday Romney will make a last-gasp push in Ohio, before returning to New Hampshire for the final “victory rally” of his campaign.

Romney will watch the election results Tuesday night from Massachusetts, where he served as state governor from 2003 to 2007.

Notably absent from the published schedule? Monumental battlegrounds Florida and Virginia — although Romney visited the Sunshine State all day Wednesday and the latter all day Thursday.

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