With one week left in the tight battle for the White House it’s all about the vital swing state of Ohio. Unless it's about Colorado — or Iowa or tiny New Hampshire.
Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney both have clear paths to the 270 electoral votes needed for victory — and they don’t all go through Ohio the state that both sides have long viewed as key to capturing the White House.
Obama still has a slight electoral map advantage fuelled by his slim lead in Ohio but Romney has steadily closed the gap or moved slightly ahead in some other battleground states. Eight states remain relative toss-ups.
Both candidates can construct multiple winning scenarios with or without Ohio. And it’s now possible that the tipping point could emerge from another battleground such as Colorado where Obama and Romney are deadlocked in the polls.
National polls show the race is a virtual dead heat but Obama still has a lead of at least 4 percentage points in states that account for 237 electoral votes. Romney has a lead of at least that size in states that represent 201 electoral votes.
That gives Obama more leeway in the fight for the remaining 95 electoral votes available in the eight toss-up states. Even if he loses Ohio, Obama could still get to 270 electoral votes.