SALT LAKE CITY — The latest national polls show a tight race for president between President Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney, but the real 2012 race will take place in less than a dozen swing states.
These swing states go back and forth between parties, and their impact can be huge, deciding the national election. Utah is not a swing state, but there are 10 in the 2012 race, according to the polls are definitely swing states, starting with Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado and according to some polls, Arizona.
For President Obama and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, those states get laser-like focus.
"You know it all boils down to six or seven states and then within those six or seven states, it boils down to three, four, five percent of the persuadable people there," said Utah Democratic Party Chair Jim Dabakis.
In two key states, Ohio and Florida, Obama has at least a slight lead over Romney. According to the most recent polls, in Ohio, he has a four-point lead, and in Florida, it's a slight lead, essentially a dead heat. An average of national polls finds an Obama lead in Iowa, New Hampshire, Virginia and Wisconsin. Romney leads in Arizona, Missouri and North Carolina.
"(Romney) has to win the three states that Obama beat McCain in that had traditionally been Republican — that's Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina," said Romney advisor, Kirk Jowers. "He's got to win the two big swing states, that are always swing states, Florida and Ohio, and then pick up one of those other swing states, in Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado."
The latest numbers in Colorado show it's as close a swing state as you can get, the two candidates are tied at 47 percent.