Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, left, and President Barack Obama, shaking hands at the conclusion of the final U.S. presidential debate Monday in Boca Raton, Fla., are vying for at least 10 combined electoral votes in New Hampshire and Iowa. (Photo : Reuters)
There have been a few times where a combined 10 Electoral College votes could have made such an impact as during this year's presidential election, and winning New Hampshire and Iowa could conceivably do that.
In the two weeks leading up to Election Day on Nov. 6, President Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney are vying for as many of the eight key swing states as they can, and while much of the attention has centered on Florida and Ohio, in a race this close, New Hampshire, with four electoral votes and Iowa's six votes could be invaluable in the race to 270.
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According to a poll on Tuesday released by the American Research Group, Romney has a two-point edge over Obama, 49 percent to 47 percent. When the poll is averaged along with other polling data from the state collected by Real Clear Politics, it shows Obama with 48.6 percent of likely voters to Romney's 47.2 percent margin.
Obama won the state by a 9.5 percent margin in 2008 against then-Republican challenger John McCain.
Meanwhile, in Iowa, as of Monday, Obama is shown by Real Clear Politics to have a two-point edge on Romney, 48.8 percent to 46.8 percent. This includes the latest poll from Rasmussen Reports that shows both candidates tied at 48 percent apiece.
With the unemployment rate being one of the main attacks on Obama that the Romney campaign has focused on, it has yet to be seen whether new data from the U.S. Labor Department released last week-which showed that unemployment for September fell in five swing states-will result in a shift in the polls in Iowa.
The five states where unemployment numbers dropped, according to labor department stats, were Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, Florida and Nevada-which has 54 electoral votes between them, Bloomberg News reported Sunday.
Xu Cheng, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics who oversees an election forecasting model based on state-by-state economic conditions, told Bloomberg News that considerably favorable economic circumstances in those swing states actually tend to work in Obama's favor.
"Most of the battleground states are doing better than the national average, especially in the key battleground state of Ohio," Cheng told the business news outfit. "Ohio's economy is coming back strongly due to the revival of the auto industry and the revival of its steel industry."