Romney still fighting in some of the strangest places

Four years ago at this moment, John McCain knew he'd lost the race for the White House.

His defeat in Ohio was the final proof of that. I covered his defeat and two days ago in Ohio I asked him if Mitt Romney is closer to that goal than he was with just a few campaign rallies left.

"Oh certainly," he said laughing, "absolutely."

Romney's rally in Ohio. Credit: ITV News

The Romney campaign is more hopeful, more enthusiastic, more organised than the McCain campaign was. His senior aides have left their Boston headquarters to stay on the campaign trail with him until the end.

But time may be running out for Mitt Romney. He's doing well in the national polls but there are 50 individual elections which make up the national vote. Forty of them are decided one way or the other. But in most of the other 10, Romney needs to win. He does not have the strong lead he needs at this stage.

In Ohio he hasn't been ahead in any major poll since the campaign began. He's here again tonight in Cleveland, at a vast exhibition centre, before an enthusiastic crowd.

His voice is holding up, he looks confident, his wife Ann is a huge asset by his side. But Cleveland is Democrat territory and Romney is struggling here. In other parts of Ohio he's doing well but not well enough.

Romney's rally in Ohio. Credit: ITV News

Later he leaves here to campaign in Pennsylvania. He's either very daring or very desperate.

Obama won Pennsylvania by 10 points last time. Democrats have won the state in the past five elections.

Romney thinks he can steal it. Obama's campaign think he's crazy.

But two new state polls put Romney ahead there. Nothing in this election can be taken for granted.

Romney is putting up a better fight than the old Warrior McCain. But he may end up with the same result; another beaten Massachusetts Presidential candidate like John Kerry and Michael Dukakis; his political career over, his supporters crestfallen.

Or then again...