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A Look at Key States in 2012 Presidential Election

Voters read the a sample ballot as they wait in line to cast their vote in Hialeah, Florida, November 6, 2012.
With U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a tight race for the White House, a handful of U.S. states could determine the outcome of Tuesday's election.

Under the American electoral college system, each of the 50 U.S. states carries a certain number of electoral votes, based on its population. The so-called battleground states are those in which neither candidate has overwhelming support in securing their electoral votes.

Both candidates have campaigned hard in the battleground states in a bid to reach 270 electoral votes - a majority of the 538 electoral votes available.

Here is a look at the number of electoral votes available in the battleground states:

Colorado: 9

Florida: 29

Iowa: 6

Nevada: 6

New Hampshire: 4

Ohio: 18

Pennsylvania: 20

Virginia: 13

Wisconsin: 10

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