Presidential race contested in far fewer states than in past
HARRISBURG, Pa. – So much for Mitt Romney's plans to compete for Democratic-trending Michigan or Pennsylvania. And what about President Barack Obama's early hopes of fighting it out for Republican-tilting Arizona, Georgia or Texas? Forget them.
The presidential battleground map is as compact as it's been in decades, with just nine states seeing the bulk of candidate visits, campaign ads and get-out-the-vote efforts in the hunt for the 270 Electoral College votes needed for victory. That means just a fraction of Americans will determine the outcome of the race for the White House.
"It's difficult if not impossible to pull new states into that kind of competition," said Tad Devine, a Democrat who long has helped his party's presidential nominees craft state-by-state strategies to reach the magic number.
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