According to a new analyses by one of the country's prominent electoral college experts, there are seven states that will determine who becomes president in the 2012 election cycle.
Those states are:
Colorado - 9 electoral votes
Florida - 29 electoral votes
Iowa - 6 electoral votes
Nevada - 6 electoral votes
Ohio - 18 electoral votes
Virgia - 13 electoral votes
New Hampshire -4 votes
The big prize is Florida of course with its huge number of electoral votes. However, the Republican candidate is going to have to win almost all of those states in order to win the nomination.
The 2010 census gave more electoral college votes to the GOP by awarding traditionally conservative states more electoral college delegates. That puts more pressure on the Dems to win as many states as possible.
Hispanics will play a huge role in this election. States with large hispanic populations such as FL, NV, CO can expect large efforts to win over the hispanic voting bloc.
A 3rd party candidate could throw a wrench in the balance of power in these seven swing states. If there is a viable third party candidate, the electoral college numbers could be dramatically different. However, not since George Wallace in 1968 has there been a third party appealing to right wing voters. We all remember how Ralph Nader (from the left) caused Al Gore to loose the nomination in 2000 by taking just enough votes in Florida.