Virginia (13) — Long a GOP bastion, Obama carried Virginia in 2008 by turning out young and minority voters. This helps him in suburban northern Virginia but he struggles in the rural and conservative South and West. Romney is using Obama's proposed cuts in military spending against this strong, defense contracting state. Virginia polls show a very close race.
LEANING REPUBLICAN (47):
Arizona (11) — 2008 GOP nominee John McCain's single-digit victory in his home state, and Hispanic and young voter boom, give Obama hope that Arizona is trending as other states in the Southwest. But it's seen little action from Democrats so far.
Indiana (11) — Obama broke a 44-year GOP trend by winning Indiana in 2008, albeit by a single percentage point. Unemployment is high and the tea party is a new factor, both working against Obama. He's not actively campaigning in the state.
Missouri (10) — Obama's campaign is eyeing Missouri after GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin's comments on abortion and rape to see if it shifts the landscape, which currently favors Romney.
North Carolina (15) — Polls have tightened in North Carolina, where Obama has kept his ads on the air despite gains by Republicans and voters' resounding rejection of a referendum to allow same-sex marriage. Obama continues to advertise, albeit at levels less than Romney and GOP-leaning groups, while Romney has dispatched some North Carolina staff to other states.
SOLIDLY REPUBLICAN (159): Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
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