A map of likely swing states in the 2012 presidential election.
We've yet to find out - officially at least - who the Republican presidential nominee will be, but there is already talk of which states will hold the key to the White House come November. There are nine significant swing states; Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin. Some political commentators have also put Arizona, Indiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania and Michigan in the mix.
Among the issues concerning voters in these states: Home foreclosures. Unemployment. Slow economic recovery. Yesterday, in a bid to secure a win, the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney, announced his search for a vice presidential running mate; it's believed that Senator Rob Portman of Ohio is on his shortlist of candidates.
A Republican presidential hopeful has failed to win an election without the Buckeye state. On the part of President Obama's camp, efforts are being put into securing Arizona, traditionally a red state which has voted Democrat once since President Truman was in office.
What are the main election issues for you? Why do you think these states have so much sway? Do you feel at a disadvantage being in a state that won't receive as much attention from the presidential candidates as some of the swing states?
Mark Barabak, National Political Writer, LA Times
David Mark, Senior Editor, Politico.com and author of “Going Dirty: The Art of Negative Campaigning”