BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Expressing confidence but leaving nothing to chance, President Barack Obama indulged his superstitions by engaging in a traditional Election Day basketball game with friends as the race that will determine his political future was finally in the hands of voters.
Obama played on the hard court — and won — after he gave a final exhortation to his volunteers to get out the vote, voiced optimism about his chances and congratulated rival Mitt Romney on a “spirited campaign.”
“I expect that we’ll have a good night,” he said.
Obama gave the campaign one last push Tuesday morning by visiting a campaign office near his South Side Chicago home.
Thunderous applause from about two dozen volunteers, many with tears streaming down their faces, greeted Obama. Removing his suit coat, he sat down to make some calls to volunteers in neighboring Wisconsin. “Let’s get busy,” he said.
“Hopefully we’ll have a good day,” he said on one call. “Keep working hard all the way through.”
Speaking to reporters afterward, Obama said: “We feel confident we’ve got the votes to win but it’s going to depend ultimately on whether these votes turn out.”
He said he knows Romney’s supporters are “just as engaged, just as enthusiastic” as his own and congratulated the former Massachusetts governor “for a hard-fought race.”
Obama said late Tuesday in an interview with Denver television station KDVR that he had prepared both a victory speech and a concession speech for election night.
“You always have two speeches prepared because you can’t take anything for granted,” Obama said. Romney on Tuesday told reporters he has only prepared a victory speech.
On the other hand, Romney, who was spending the night in Massachusetts, said he had only written one speech.
“I just finished writing a victory speech,” Romney said. “It’s about 1118 words and I’m sure it will change before I’m finished because I haven’t passed it around to my family and friends and advisers to get their reaction. But I’ve only written one speech at this point.”
The president headed into Election Day locked in a close race with Romney, according to national polls. But he appeared to have a slight edge in some key battlegrounds that will decide the contest, including Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Romney was watching results come in from his hotel room in Boston’s Seaport district, and was expected to speak later at his campaign’s election night party next door at the Boston Exhibition Convention Center.
Obama was expected to speak at his campaign’s election night party at McCormick Place convention center in Chicago.
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