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A peek inside Romney's HQ in the swing state of Virginia

Text by Jon FROSCH , Julien PEYRON

Latest update : 2012-11-04

FRANCE24 stopped by Republican candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, to get a sense of the team’s mood three days before the vote as polls showed the race in the state -- and the country at large -- to be deadlocked.

Arlington, Virginia, is a well-off suburb outside of Washington DC, full of young professionals and families who voted for President Barack Obama by a wide margin (more than 60%) in 2008. Indeed, the county helped Obama become the first Democrat to win the coveted swing state since 1964.

But in the heart of downtown Arlington lies a packed, breathlessly busy office full of faithful Republicans: the Romney/Ryan campaign's Virginia headquarters. On Saturday, November 3, just 72 hours before Election Day, FRANCE 24 stopped by and found an army of volunteers of all ages working the telephones, talking strategy, and picking up pamphlets and signs to distribute to voters in the street.

In the call room, certain phrases emerged from the chorus of overlapping voices: “Romney and Ryan”, “make sure to vote”, “our veterans”, and “God bless”.

The volunteers seemed energised and devoted, but there was a tinge of panic and a touch of fatigue beneath the upbeat tones and confident smiles. Recent polls have shown a deadlocked national race, but with Obama retaining an edge in most of the key swing states and a clearer path than his rival to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the election.

Surveys of Virginia have been some of the closest of all, with neither candidate seeming to have a decisive edge. One Romney campaign worker who did not wish to be named or photographed confided that he is nervous. “I’m not sure Romney’s going to win Virginia,” he said. “It’s going to be very tight.”

Another staffer put on his game face to welcome a group of volunteers. “It’s cold out there, but it’s just heating up in here!” he exclaimed as he ushered them into the call room.

Here, in photos, is a look at the Romney/Ryan “Arlington Victory Office” in full swing during the final days of a bruising presidential campaign.


Date created : 2012-11-04

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