2012 Election Hinges on 4 States

Maybe five if Florida stays in play

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 11, 2012 10:29 AM CDT

(Newser) – Odds are, the state you live in doesn't matter in the 2012 election, strategically speaking. Democratic and Republican strategists tend to agree that the entire race will come down to just four or five swing states, the LA Times reports: Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia, and maybe Florida. Polls show Obama leading in most of those states, but by narrow enough margins that that could change by November.

Of course, the swing state roster isn't set in stone either; some Republicans, for instance, believe they can flip Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, though neither has gone red since the '80s. Democrats, meanwhile, fear they'll lose Indiana and perhaps North Carolina, both of which Obama carried in 2008. And Iowa and New Hampshire, though not large, could be in play as well. But it's those five key states that are likely to see the most of Messrs. Obama and Romney in the coming months.

A man watches an electoral US map poster showing that Barack Obama has been elected president, early Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008.
A man watches an electoral US map poster showing that Barack Obama has been elected president, early Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008.   (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
NBC employees change Nebraska to red in the electoral map of the United States at the NBC News Election Plaza, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 in New York.
NBC employees change Nebraska to red in the electoral map of the United States at the NBC News Election Plaza, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008 in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
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