Shrunken Battleground

October 9, 2012 - 4:34 PM
FILE - In this Sept. 25, 2012 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney speaks in Vandalia, Ohio. So much for Mitt Romney's plan to compete for Democratic-leaning Michigan or Pennsylvania. And what about President Barack Obama's early hopes of fighting it out for GOP-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, TV ads and get-out-the-vote efforts. A small fraction of Americans will determine the outcome of the race for 270 Electoral votes. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)