The Electoral College as it stands on Oct. 25, 2012.
New swing state polls open up a few options for Republican challenger Mitt Romney to win the Electoral College even if he loses Ohio.
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Even without Ohio, if Romney took Michigan he would only need Iowa or Colorado to win outright.
Colorado is a dead heat, and has been since the first presidential debate in Denver.
Iowa is a tougher sell for Romney, though some recent polls show him tied with Obama or with a slight edge.
Still, a Michigan win is unlikely for Romney, and polls in Pennsylvania have it looking quite secure for Obama, which eliminates a potential aggressive attack for Romney.
Pennsylvania is as vital to Obama's election effort as Florida is to Romney's. Neither can afford to lose such a large chunk of electoral votes with Ohio in such a precarious and important perch.
Florida is looking more secure for Romney lately. But it would be unwise for his campaign to relax their efforts there. The Obama campaign may be gearing up for a big push in Florida and other states with large Latino populations.
First Lady Michelle Obama appeared in her first campaign ad, a Spanish-language spot geared toward Latino voters, yesterday.
And both campaigns are pushing early voting for their supporters, even in states where the Republicans opposed early voting measures. Most states now allow some form of early voting, whether in-person at polling places days or weeks before the election or via absentee ballot collected before Election Day.
Democrats usually benefit the most from early voting, and now that polls are open in most states, we'll see what exit polling says about early voters, as they are the most "likely" of likely voters, a demographic pollsters weight more heavily, as it is more representative of election results.
In fact, in most polls, Obama has a substantial lead among registered voters, but that shrinks or disappears among likely voters.
If early voters become a demographic even more influential than likely voters, we'll see Obama's numbers spike.
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