ROANOKE, Va. —
Romney's aides concede that the storm stalled his momentum to the finish line but insist that internal polling shows they have leads in battleground states like Virginia, Florida, Colorado and North Carolina. But their specific path to 270 electoral votes is still unclear without Ohio or Wisconsin, where aides did not offer the same measure of confidence on Thursday.
Romney is set to campaign in both states in the coming days.
Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter predicted victory in Ohio and Wisconsin and argued during an appearance on "The Daily Rundown" on MSNBC that Obama was tied or ahead in Florida polling and that they were counting on victory there. She mentioned that Obama was visiting all the swing states in the coming days — but notably absent from his schedule is a stop in North Carolina, suggesting the president's campaign agrees with Romney aides that it is a likely Republican victory.
The Democratic campaign is seeking to make up for the time lost to Sandy with a heavy travel itinerary in the coming days, including rallies Thursday in Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado. Before traveling to Wisconsin, Obama held a storm briefing at the White House with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate and other administration officials, and the White House said Obama would stay in touch with Fugate and local officials affected by the storm throughout the day.
No one was hitting the ground harder in the final days than former President Bill Clinton, who acted as a surrogate campaigner-in-chief while Obama was off the trail and had four stops scheduled Thursday in Wisconsin and Ohio. Clinton and Obama planned to appear together along with singer Dave Matthews Friday night in Bristow, Va.
Romney's attack on Obama's secretary of business was coordinated with a new television advertisement. The Romney campaign announced a new TV spot criticizing Obama for suggesting the creation of a secretary of business. "His solution to everything is to add another bureaucrat," the ad says, then touts Romney's experience as a businessman as evidence that he would do a better job of improving the economy.