Rediff.com's Bikash Mohapatra, who is covering the US presidential elections, reports on how the Republicans are trying hard to secure Florida.
America goes to the polls in a few days and the battle between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney looks set to go the distance.
The Republican challenger has in the recent weeks gained considerable ground over the incumbent. However, Obama retains a narrow overall lead and looks set to trump his opponent in the swing states of Ohio and Virginia.
That makes it imperative for Romney and his party to try and secure Florida, a key state from the overall result perspective. While statistics reveal the conservatives in the state have had a Republican tilt -- with the party coming up trumps in seven of the last 10 elections -- the place tends to spring a surprise, Obama's win in 2008 being one of them.
Keeping that in mind the Republican have intensified their campaigning in the region, their focus in this final stage being on attacking the economic policies of Obama, blaming him for failing to get the growth rate back on track and projecting Romney as a 'practical problem solver.'
"A few days from now, we got to elect Romney," declared Dick Greco, the former mayor of Tampa.
"It's close in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin and a few other states. But we are going to win," he added, "It is about saving our country and making it the force it was."
"We know what four more years of Obama would be like." The veteran politician and activist played up the emotional card quite well, exhorting people to support the Republicans. (It is imperative here to mention that Greco is Democrat who frequently endorses the Republicans)
"We have to remember that we are in it together, no matter what kind of people. If the country sinks, so do we. So we have to ensure that doesn't happen," he said.
"We are very fortunate that we are still fighting, that every American cares for his fellow countryman. Other countries don't have that courage," he continued, adding, "Once we settle down we can also help the world. We have always done that.
"Let's not take the foot off the pedal. That's our responsibility." Senator Mario Rubio was optimistic about his party's prospects, as also the chances of an economic revival in the near future, conveniently integrating the two even as he spoke.
"There is no reason why the 21st century can't be better than the 20th. There is no reason why our children and grandchildren can't be part of the most prosperous America that ever was," he said.
"The next big American company is an idea and with a right tax policy, a right foreign policy and good leadership that idea will turn into a successful business venture," affirmed Rubio.
Most of the Republican campaign in recent weeks has shifted focus on the success of Romney as a businessman and consequently his 'supposed' ability to steer the country clear of the prolonged economic crisis.
Before being elected Governor of Massachusetts in 2002, during which he was extremely successful as well, the 65-year-old owned a hugely successful business venture (Bain Capital) and was also credited for the success of the 2002 Winter Olympics, when he happened to be the CEO of the Salt Lake Organising Committee.
With Obama, a lawyer by qualification and profession, failing to get the economy back on track, the Republicans have seized the opportunity and pointed out a businessman is a just candidate in this scenario.
"To have the right policies we need the right leader, one who helps us move forward. In a few days America will elect that leader -- Mitt Romney," said Rubio.
"I believe that Romney can bring the people together, and towards a right vision for the future," he added. Representative Dana Young went a step further during her assessment.
"Romney is a practical problem solver," she averred.
"Every problem he has faced in life, he has solved it," she continued, adding, "There's no person who is more prepared (than Romney) to solve the problems of America.
It is time to step forward and elect the leader that this nation so desperately needs."