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Top Obama aides express confidence in ground game

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Top Obama campaign advisers dismissed national polls indicating Tuesday’s presidential race is a dead heat, saying an advantage in early voting and the president’s extensive ground game in battleground states nearly guarantee a Democratic victory.

“We had a good organization in ‘08 and right now we’re light years ahead of where we were then,” senior adviser David Plouffe told reporters traveling with Mr. Obama. “We think the president is going to have a very good day tomorrow.”

By Monday, more than 29.9 million Americans had already cast their votes. It’s impossible to know whether Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney had amassed more votes in early voting because states don’t count all votes until Election Day. But some states report early voting by party affiliation, and of the five battleground states that report partisan turnout, Democratic voters had an edge in early voting in four, according to data compiled by George Mason University’s United States Elections Project.

After giving the president an advantage in many states before the summer, the polling since the party conventions has become incredibly volatile, with the latest Associated Press poll giving Mr. Romney credit for closing a 16-point gender gap among women voters while election analysts cautioning against reading too much into radical polling swings.

David Axelrod, a senior campaign adviser to Mr. Obama, said volatility in the polls belies how “solid and consistent” the president’s leads in key swing states have been.

“In the end, when you look back, that will be the story of this race,” Mr. Plouffe added.

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Susan Crabtree

Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at

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