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Romney meets raucous crowd at final Virginia stop


FAIRFAX, VA -- Mitt Romney barnstormed the Old Dominion on this final full day of campaigning, cramming two stops, separated by hundreds of miles, in this hotly-contested swing state over the course of just a few hours.

Here on the campus of George Mason University, Romney was greeted by his best crowd of the day for a boisterous rally that seemed to overwhelm the GOP nominee, prompting him to joke that the attendees must have been expecting someone else to take the stage.

Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney speaks in Virginia. Watch his speech.

"That is really something special. I am looking around to see if we have the Beatles here or something to have brought you but it looks like you came just for the campaign and I appreciate it," Romney said to 8,000 supporters here. "Your voices and your energy and your passion are being heard all over the nation."

Romney's rally here was a rare foray into Fairfax County, which broke heavily Democratic in 2008 and where he must cut into President Barack Obama's margins to carry the state.

Charles Dharapak / AP

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and his wife Ann Romney wave to the crowd at a Virginia campaign rally at The Patriot Center at George Mason University, in Fairfax, Va., Monday, Nov. 5, 2012.

Romney touched down in Lynchburg, Virginia earlier in the afternoon for a lunchtime rally on the tarmac before a smaller crowd of a few thousand supporters. This was safer territory for the Republican nominee, since Arizona Sen. John McCain carried all of the surrounding counties in 2008 and are expected to remain in the GOP column this fall.

To carry Virginia on Tuesday, Republicans will likely need to run up wide margins in these central and western counties, and Romney opened his remarks in Lynchburg by thanking the volunteers in crowd, and urging them to do yet more in the race's final hours.

Telling crowds in Florida that 'this nation is going to change for the better tomorrow,' GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney rallied voters by saying he would break the gridlock in Washington. NBC's Peter Alexander reports from Columbus, Ohio.

"Your voices are being heard all over the nation loud and clear, thank you. I also want to thank many of you in this crowd that have been out there working on the campaign. Making calls from the victory centers, and by putting up a yard sign, in your neighbor's yard," Romney joked.

"This is a campaign about America and about the future we’re going to leave to our children. And we ask that you stay at this all the way until victory on Tuesday night," he continued.

Romney did add a tinge of conservatism to his usual "closing argument" speech, blaming Obama for being overattentive to a "liberal agenda" at the expense of minding the economy. Romney also warned of the specter of "card check," a union organizing reform law detested by conservatives.