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Battleground States to Watch for This Election

The state's 29 electoral votes would go a long way for either candidate. Romney's October surge suggested to many pollsters and analysts that Florida would lean in favor of the former Massachusetts governor. The 1.5 percentage-point advantage leaves it in toss-up territory.

The president has held a consistent lead in Nevada throughout the election season, but the final polling shows Obama ahead of Romney 50.2% to 47.4%, or 2.8 percentage points. This would leave the state in toss-up territory.

One Republican source in Nevada predicted that Obama likely would win the race there, and noted that early voting was favoring Democrats by a sizable margin. Nevada reporter Jon Ralston wrote on Sunday that it would be difficult for Obama to lose.

"But they [Romney] need everything to break right -- President Obama hemorrhages Democrats and independents vote in huge numbers for Romney, two things I do not see happening," Ralston wrote.

In Iowa, where the economy proved incredibly resilient during the Great Recession, the president leads the Republican nominee 48.7% to 46.3%, or 2.4 percentage points.

Former Vice President Al Gore won Iowa in 2000, and Bush won there in 2004. A number of state Republicans, including Polk County Republican Party Chairman Kevin McLaughlin, have said since last year that they believed the state would be winnable in 2012.

McLaughlin said Obama has let down many of his 2008 supporters. "[They're] tired of being taken for granted by the Democrats ... and tired of Democrats showing up before the elections and expecting them all to vote for the Democrat candidate," he said.

Wisconsin, where GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan is from, shows a wider advantage for Obama than the aforementioned states.

Obama leads Romney 50.4% to 46.2%, or 4.2 percentage points, there as the typically Democratic-leaning state submits its ballots on Tuesday.

Republicans believed they had a shot at Wisconsin after a high-profile recall of GOP Gov. Scott Walker failed. Enthusiasm rose when Romney selected Ryan as his running mate.

Though Romney narrowed Obama's lead after both events, the president has shown steady improvement in the state in the past week. Though the state is listed as a toss-up, it appears to be leaning toward the incumbent.
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