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Courting the Keystone State

The 2012 presidential election will take place Nov. 6 and could be largely decided by states that are currently deemed toss-ups, especially as polls indicate a tight race. The choice between incumbent Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney is the question facing the eight battleground states of Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.

And all eyes are squarely focused on how those states voted in presidential elections past to help make predictions about what might happen this year. One key consideration is the geographic concentration of the red/blue divide, as seen on the historical maps below.

Bloomberg took the analysis a bit deeper to recognize bellwether counties within each of the swing states that could shape the state outcome. In previous presidential horse races, the county vote breakdown in 2004 and 2008 matched the state result in almost every instance.

In the 2012 race, the economy is front and center. A financial picture of how each swing state compares with the U.S. as a whole is drawn using Bloomberg’s BEES index indicators, showing the overall state health, mortgage delinquency, housing prices, unemployment and personal income.

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