BOSTON — Not content to let Election Day play out on its own, Republican Mitt Romney and running mate Paul Ryan touched on two big battleground states before heading to Boston to await the voters' decision.
But Mr. Romney was so confident he was going to win that, with only two hours still to go before the first polls closed, he had prepared only a single election-night speech, assuming a win.
Speaking to reporters aboard his campaign plane after the final campaign swing of his 17-month journey, Mr. Romney said that he does not "give the prospect of losing a lot of thought" and that he was planning to deliver a 1,118-word victory speech before the night was over.
"I am sure it will change before I am finished because I haven't passed it around to my family and friends and advisers to get their reaction. But I have only written one speech at this point," Mr. Romney said.
Mr. Romney kicked off his day voting alongside his wife, Ann, at a polling place at a senior center in their hometown of Belmont, Mass. Asked who he voted for on his way out the door, Mr. Romney said, "I think you know." The former Massachusetts governor also said that he felt "great" about the chances of winning Ohio, which many saw as a must-win for him.
Mr. Romney kissed his wife goodbye outside the polling station and hugged one of his daughters-in-law, before son Tagg, grandson Joe, and his core circle of top advisers joined him on an Election Day swing through Ohio and Pennsylvania — which some Democrats suggested was an act of desperation on the part of the Romney camp.
Mr. Romney sounded and appeared upbeat, though, telling volunteers at campaign offices outside Cleveland and Pittsburgh that he was "so optimistic — not just about the results of the election, but optimistic about what's ahead for America."
"We have glorious great days ahead and we're going to accomplish that together," he said.
His spirits seemed to be lifted even further after hundreds of supporters unexpectedly were waiting for him after he touched down at the Pittsburgh International Airport.
Mr. Romney waved to them from the other side of a chain-link fence, and, as he walked away, was asked how he felt about the reception.
"Well, that's when you know you're going to win," he said.
In his final day on the campaign trail, Mr. Romney steered clear of the stinging attacks that he has spent months leveling against Mr. Obama, telling volunteers at his Green Tree victory offices in Pennsylvania that they "don't need to be disparaging of the other guy."
"The president has run a strong campaign; I believe he is a good man and wish him well, and his family well. He is a good father and has been a good example of a good father, but it is time for a new direction. It is a time for a better tomorrow," Mr. Romney said.
Before he landed back in Boston, which amounted to the symbolic end of his time on the campaign trail, Mr. Romney said he had no regrets about his campaign.
"I am very pleased, I feel like we've put it on the field, we have left nothing in the locker room," he said. "We fought till the very end and I think that is why I think we will be successful."
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