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AP: 32 "swing" counties in U.S. are in Wisconsin

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President Barack Obama (L) and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney share a laugh at the end of the first presidential debate in Denv
President Barack Obama (L) and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney share a laugh at the end of the first presidential debate in Denv

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - Wisconsin may very well end up deciding the presidential contest in 15 days.

The Associated Press has identified 106 swing counties in nine states that voted for both Republican President Bush in 2004 and Democratic President Obama in 2008. Almost a-third of counties – 32 of them – are in Wisconsin.

It’s where the candidates and their parties are zeroing in, as President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney try to nail down the 270 electoral votes they need to win the White House.

As a state, Wisconsin has not carried a Republican since Ronald Reagan’s second term in 1984. But two Democratic victories since then were by 0.4 percent or less. And the swing counties have a lot to do with that.

Those are the places where registered voters are being swamped with robo-calls, several mass mailings a day, and nearly constant TV ads. Most of Wisconsin’s 32 swing counties are in the northern two-thirds of the state. And they vary in population, as large as Racine and as small as Washburn County in the far northwest.

While they change allegiances, the AP says very few swing counties have a lot of undecided voters at this point.

Voters express a variety of themes. The most common is that the incumbent has not lived up to his promise, and the challenger seems to have better leadership potential. 

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