Romney's path: Win indies, stoke base, no errors
WASHINGTON - Mitt Romney's plan for victory boils down to this: Convince independent voters he'll change Washington, stoke Republican enthusiasm and avoid unforced errors. The Republican nominee's path to reaching the necessary 270 electoral votes cuts straight through Rust Belt states.
The Republican has to stop President Barack Obama from sweeping Ohio, Iowa, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, a Democratic-leaning state where Romney's making a last-ditch effort, while winning most other competitive states.
The former Massachusetts governor is making his closing argument, telling voters that he can do what he says Obama didn't: change the tone in hyperpartisan Washington.
The three-pronged approach is aimed at both turning out the base and winning over the independent voters that will be critical on Election Day.