NEW YORK -- If television ad spending is any guide, the White House race will come down to nine states that have absorbed an eye-popping $350 million in commercials so far.
Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Florida, the largest and most diverse of these states, are where the ad dollars have been concentrated, and that's been consistent this election season.
They account for 120 of the 270 electoral votes needed to win. Barack Obama carried all nine states in 2008, but polling and the ad crush indicate all are really competitive now.
While the rest of the country is virtually ad-free, the Obama and Mitt Romney campaigns, along with a host of mostly Republican-leaning independent groups, are going at it in those nine states.
The Associated Press