ABOARD ROMNEY'S CAMPAIGN PLANE — Mitt Romney said Tuesday he is intellectually and emotionally convinced he will win the White House, and has penned an 1,118-word victory speech he hopes to unveil on election night.
Sharing the confidence that his campaign team has publicly exuded for weeks, despite polls showing he has an uphill climb to clinch key battleground states, the Republican nominee said he turned introspective on his final swing of an 18-month campaign.
"Intellectually I felt that we're going to win this, and I've felt that for some time," Romney said in his first comments to reporters aboard his campaign plane in more than a month.
"I just finished writing a victory speech, it's about 1,118 words, and I'm sure it will change before I finish because I haven't passed it around to my family and friends and advisers to get their reaction."
Locked in a tight race with President Barack Obama, Romney took an 11th-hour trip Tuesday to must-win Ohio, as well as Democrat-leaning Pennsylvania, where he said he was startled to see hundreds of supporters cheering him on near the airport.
"Emotionally, just getting off the plane and seeing those people standing there, we didn't tell them we were coming, we didn't notify them when we'd arrive, just seeing people there, cheering as they were, connected emotionally with me," Romney said.
"I not only think we're going to win intellectually but I feel it as well."
Romney, who visited volunteers and helped last-minute efforts to get out the vote, recalled how the weight of his presidential effort sank in early Tuesday when he saw his name on the ballot as he and wife Ann voted in their state of Massachusetts.
"That was quite a -- quite a moment," he said. "We've been working for this a long, long time and to be on the ballot for the presidency of the United States is very humbling, it's a great honor and I hope that I'll have the chance to serve."
Asked whether he was happy with how he and his team ran the campaign against Obama, Romney said: "I am very pleased, I feel that we've put it all on the field. We left nothing in the locker room, we fought to the very end, and I think that's why we'll be successful."