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With the latest polls declaring the presidential race too close to call, the 2012 election largely rests in the hands of swing state voters. On the road to 270 electoral votes, both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have made attempts at appealing to the undecided swing states and independent-minded voters. The key word here is “attempts,” as neither candidate has been successful in securing the independent vote.
While Obama won the majority of independent voters in 2008, a lot has changed since the election of “hope,” and according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll, Romney is now leading among independents.
Stressed by Romney pollster Neil Newhouse, “Independents will decide the next president of the United States…It’s as simple as that.”
Moreover, because of the electoral college, independents in swing states hold the key to the White House. This in part explains the increase in campaign spending, search interest, and news results generated about the undecided swing states of Wisconsin, Iowa, Nevada, Colorado, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida
By analyzing Google search and news numbers, on top of candidate spending, the Google Politics and Elections team has created this infographic providing a state-by-state analysis on spending in undecided swing states. (Click to enlarge)