Washington - US President Barack Obama's top aide in Florida said on Thursday that the Democrats had won the vote in the officially undeclared Sunshine State, where officials are under fire for mishandling the ballot.
Obama ended up not needing the biggest swing state as he won enough states across the country to romp to a decisive electoral college victory in Tuesday's election, but his team believes they triumphed in any case.
“On behalf of Florida Democrats, I wish President Barack Obama congratulations on his re-election and on winning Florida's 29 electoral college votes,” Florida Democrats chair Rod Smith said in a statement.
Mitt Romney's senior campaign adviser in Florida hinted earlier that the Republican presidential challenger lost the state, where a result is still to be announced more than two days after the election.
Electoral officials have said all vote returns must be completed no later than Saturday, but the statement from Romney's campaign published in the Miami Herald suggested his team had already accepted defeat.
“The numbers in Florida show this was winnable. We thought based on our polling and range of organisation that we had done what we needed to win,” senior campaign adviser Brett Doster said in the statement.
“Obviously, we didn't, and for that I and every other operative in Florida has a sick feeling that we left something on the table,” he added.
Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said he was confident the president would be declared the victor.
The campaign's voter model continues to show that Obama “will hold that lead and end with 332 electoral votes,” Messina said.
In the state-by-state electoral college system, 270 votes were needed for victory and Obama already has 303 with Florida's 29 still outstanding.
Votes are still being counted in three of Florida's 67 counties, said Chris Cate, a spokesman for the state government. “Counties are required to report their results to us by Saturday at noon,” Cate told AFP. - AFP