Presidential Race Polling Very Close

With the election looming just two weeks away, and the final debate between President Barack Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney in the books, the focus turns to polls.  The race has tightened in recent weeks, especially in the key battleground states of Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, Florida, Virginia, North Carolina, and New Hampshire. The President carried all these states in his win over Senator John McCain in the 2008 election, though polls indicate the 2012 election will be much closer, particularly in the previously mentioned battleground states.  While the President maintained an early advantage in Ohio, Iowa, and Colorado, recent polls in these states place the two candidates in a near deadlocked battle.  Mitt Romney has retained a slight lead in Florida, arguably the most important battleground state, over the past month.

The Economist has compiled an election season map, with polling details for each state.  Based on the most recent polling results President Obama possesses 253 likely Electoral College votes (17 shy of the 270 necessary for victory) to Mitt Romney's 191. However, there are still 94 votes from battleground states that are up in the air.  Should Mitt Romney hold onto his lead in Florida, he would receive 29 votes - the third most for any state.  This would leave him 50 votes shy of victory with 65 votes still on the table.  While Florida represents the most votes for any battleground state, Ohio may yet be the most important.  If the President takes Ohio along with the other 253 likely Obama votes, he surpasses the 270 vote mark with a single vote to spare.  A recent Quinnipiac Poll gives the President a five-point lead in Ohio, and he's led the state in most polls throughout the past two months.  

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