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By the numbers: Swing states

By Caitlin Stark and Amy Roberts, CNN Library
updated 10:46 PM EDT, Fri October 26, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 95: The number of Electoral College votes up for grabs in eight swing states.
  • 5: The number of swing states that had higher unemployment rates in September 2012 than in January 2009.
  • 27.1%: The percentage of Nevada residents who are Latino, the highest of the swing states
  • 7%: Approximate percentage of Mormon residents in Nevada, the highest of the swing states

(CNN) -- When millions of Americans head to the polls on November 6, only eight states will likely make or break the election. With the stakes that high, we took a look -- by the numbers -- at the swing states:

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8: The number of swing, or battleground, states in play for the 2012 presidential election. They are: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin.

Battlegrounds: 'It's all about northern Virginia'

95: The number of Electoral College votes up for grabs in eight swing states. There are 538 votes available with a minimum of 270 needed to win the White House.

56.6 million: The population of the eight swing states, approximately 18% of the total U.S. population.

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Battleground Colorado
Iowa: Key battleground state in 2012

19 million: The population of Florida, the largest of the swing states. Florida has 29 Electoral College votes.

1.3 million: The population of New Hampshire, the smallest of the swing states. New Hampshire has four Electoral College votes.

Tiny New Hampshire taking big role

34.3 million: The number of registered active voters in the eight swing states.

5: The number of battleground states that had higher unemployment rates in September 2012 than in January 2009. However, all are lower than their peak unemployment rates in 2010.

The Undecided: What will sway them?

9.6%: Nevada's unemployment rate in January 2009, when President Barack Obama took office.

11.8%: The unemployment rate in Nevada in September 2012, the highest of the swing states and the highest in the country. The unemployment rate peaked at 14% in October 2010.

5.2%: The unemployment rate in Iowa in September 2012, the lowest of the eight swing states.

8.6%: Ohio's unemployment rate in January 2009 when, Obama took office. It peaked at 10.6% in January 2010.

Why Ohio is the 'big one'

7.0%: Ohio's unemployment rate in September 2012, down 3.6 points since January 2010.

27.1%: The percentage of Nevada residents that are Latino, the highest of the nine swing states.

Latino vote may top 12 million in 2012

2.9%: The percentage of New Hampshire residents that are Latino, the lowest of the battleground states.

7%: Approximate percentage of Nevada residents that belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the highest of the swing states.

Billy Graham site removes Mormon 'cult' reference after Romney meeting

0.4%: Approximate percentage of Wisconsin residents that belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the lowest of the nine swing states.

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