After A Long Campaign, Correspondents At Romney HQ Ready For A Long Night

By Alex Weprin Comment

GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney‘s campaign headquarters is about to start filling up in Boston, Massachusetts. For correspondents covering the Romney campaign, today has been a relatively uneventful one in the grand scheme of the campaign, though that will soon change.

“This is the first quiet day we have had in I don’t know how long,” NBC’s Peter Alexander told TVNewser. “Everything has been said, now you just wait and see what America says.”

As the polls close across the country, the network correspondents in Boston are gearing up to try and take the temperature of the Romney camp. While viewers at home get a larger perspective, the view in the campaign headquarters is a unique one.

“The advantage is that you have right at your disposal key people inside the campaign who are telling you what is going on,” CNN’s Jim Acosta told us. “Of course you are being spun, but it is a ringside seat not many people have, and a vantage point that you can share with the world.”

For tonight, correspondents are ready to expect the unexpected, and to go late if need be.

“Just when you have conventional wisdom building or predictions that come into focus on election day, you have to wonder, what will the surprise be tonight,” ABC’s David Muir told us, noting that this campaign has been rife with surprises, from Hurricane Sandy to the “47%” tape.

“I am planning for a late night, and steeling myself for what could be a long month,” Acosta says. “If this thing ends up being a near-tie, and we are waiting on provisional and absentee ballots in Ohio to be counted and tabulated, this thing might not be over tonight, so I am trying to keep that in the back of my mind.”

Regardless of what happens tonight, for correspondents on the campaign trail, there is no rest for the weary.

“If we find out tonight that Romney wins, then I move into transition mode, and I have already been talking to people in that community, because there is only 77 days between tonight and the inauguration,” Alexander says. “If [Romney] loses, I suspect I take a nap, if he wins, we go non-stop.”

On the trail, there is a palpable sense that the end, one way or the other, is near.

“Last night, it was after midnight in New Hampshire, and it was the final rally of the night. Mitt Romney was working the line, and it was the last official line of the campaign, and he gets to the end of it and a guy gives him a giant bear hug that was unexpected, and you saw the Governor just start laughing,” Muir recalled. “He looked at me standing there, recording it on my iPhone, and he just gave me a nod and a big smile.”

It was a very subtle thing, but you get to know these candidates over the course of the campaign, and you could tell he was moved by this huge homecoming in New Hampshire. That moment where he gave me a little nod and a smile, I could tell he was thinking that we were almost there,” Muir added.