Analysis: Why Both Romney and Obama Campaigns Say They're Winning

PHOTO: David Axelrod, a strategist for President Obama, addresses a crowd in front of the Statehouse, in Boston, May 31, 2012.
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At the five-day mark before Election Day, both the Romney and Obama campaign not only think they can win, but are convinced that they will win.

To be clear, this is not just about spin and bravado. Each side says that they have empirical evidence that shows their candidate is ahead.

"We have the math, they have the myth," Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said on a conference call with reporters yesterday, expressing confidence in the president's position heading into Nov. 6.

Messina and his Obama campaign counterpart, David Axelrod, dismissed speculation that new ads and campaign stops by Republicans and Democrats in states that had been considered safe -- Minnesota, Michigan and Pennsylvania -- are signs of a struggling campaign.

"I've put my moustache on the line," Axelrod said of Obama's odds of holding those states.

Axelrod characterized the momentum the Romney campaign has been projecting as "faux-mentum" and said there was a "growing recognition on the other side that Ohio is fading away."

Meanwhile, Republicans, and not just Team Romney, but every Republican we talk to who is involved in surveying voters in swing states, say their polls show a very different race than the one that Democrats and media pollsters have shown.

"We have an intensity advantage," Romney campaign pollster Neil Newhouse said on a conference call with reporters yesterday. "And you know what? We don't even need to prove this to you in terms of campaign interest and all these other pieces of data. All you need to do is look at Obama's job approval rating."

With three different Republicans over the last week who have done polling in Ohio, none of them show Romney losing. At worst, he is tied. At best he is up 2 points.

At the same time, Democrats -- and again, not just the Obama campaign -- but reputable Democratic pollsters, say that their polling in places like the Buckeye State gives Obama a lead similar to what the public polls are showing.

"When you look at counties that John McCain won, which we know in a year like 2008 would be a pretty good county for Republicans, we are 11 percent higher than we were in 2008," Romney campaign political director Rich Beeson said of Ohio. "There are 35 counties in Ohio that John McCain won where turnout is already over a hundred percent of 2008."

And of those blue states the Romney campaign is trying to turn red -- Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Michigan - Romney strategist Russ Schriefer noted, "I think we're in an excellent position to win."

At the heart of the difference is an assumption about the make-up of the electorate and the composition of the independent vote. But, at the end of the day, one group of pollsters is going to be right and one group is going to be wrong.

Even so, both sides can agree on this: Ohio is where this race will be won or lost. And, because the race is likely to be so close, the loser will be able to argue that difference between the ultimate result and their own polling was within the margin of error.

ABC News' Devin Dwyer and Emily Friedman contributed reporting.

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