Now that the party conventions are over, the race to the White House is on its final lap. NPR's political editor Ken Rudin explains what President Obama and Gov. Romney will need to win.
Though unemployment remains high, President Obama is leading in most polls of likely voters, but the race will come down to the all-important swing states: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Some states, like Florida's 29 electoral votes, are bigger prizes in the electoral college. Though not completely necessary, Florida will likely need to fall in Romney's tally for the GOP candidate to win. The governor of Florida is a Republican, but Democrats hold a 450,000 voter registration lead. Growth in non-Cuban Hispanics also remain an obstacle for Romney, as they tend to support Obama.
Though Wisconsin hasn't voted for a Republican candidate for President since Ronald Reagan in 1984, the addition of Paul Ryan to the Romney ticket could be the cause of swinging that state into the toss-up category.
Ken Rudin, NPR's political editor