An 11th-Hour Look at Swing States

What's happening in Ohio, Florida, and more

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 5, 2012 7:38 AM CST | Updated Nov 5, 2012 7:55 AM CST

(Newser) – If you're tired of hearing the phrase "swing states," take heart: the end is near (or at least until the post-race analysis begins). Until then, an 11th-hour look at what's happening in several battleground states:

  • Ohio: Obama got heckled in Cincinnati yesterday by a man whose fingers had to be pried from a balcony rail by four cops, but there were rosier moments for Obama elsewhere in the state. The Los Angeles Times reports that yesterday's Souls to the Polls effort returned early votes mostly in favor of the president. But polls show the two candidates tied in the state, and USA Today cautions that third-party candidates—there are five on the state's ballot—could determine the race, should one manage to grab even 1% of the vote. Click for a detailed breakdown of the "5 Ohios."

  • Florida: The AP reports that of the 4.3 million votes cast so far, Dem turnout is ahead 43% to 40%, but a Florida Times-Union poll out last night gives Romney a 5-point lead. Early-voting headaches continue to abound in the state.
  • Colorado: All signs point to this one staying close til the end, reports USA Today. Of the 1.6 million early ballots cast, 38,000 more registered Republicans than registered Democrats have turned out ... but 25% of early voters had no party affiliation.
  • Iowa: Though Democrats have the early voting edge 43% to 32% when it comes to the 614,000 ballots cast so far, 40,000 Dems haven't returned their mail-in ballot; the same is true of only 21,000 GOPers, notes USA Today.
  • North Carolina: Of the 2.7 million votes cast, it's Democrats, 48%; Republicans, 32%. But Obama only narrowly won the state in 2008, in spite of a 21-point lead in early voting. Real Clear Politics' poll gives the state to Romney.
  • Nevada: It's 44% to 37%, advantage Democrats, in early voting here, but Romney could pull out a win if he can steal Clark County, tie in Washoe County, and convince more rural residents to vote; USA Today thinks it's possible.
  • Virginia: A poll out today by the Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist Poll has Obama ahead 48% to 47%, but the Journal calls the state a "virtual tie"—and notes that of the 1,165 voters surveyed, Obama's lead was ... five voters.
For more swing-state reading, check out the Wall Street Journal's look at three key counties in three key states, or brush up on more recent polls.

First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at Miami (Ohio) Unversity in Oxford, Ohio.
First Lady Michelle Obama speaks at a campaign rally, Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, at Miami (Ohio) Unversity in Oxford, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Al Behrman)
This Oct. 29, 2012 file photo shows aVote Early  sign as former President Bill Clinton spoke at a President Barack Obama campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio.
This Oct. 29, 2012 file photo shows a"Vote Early" sign as former President Bill Clinton spoke at a President Barack Obama campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
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