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This photo taken June 27, 2012, shows Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney campaigning with Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell at Electronic Instrumentation and Technology in Sterling, Va. Before the election of President Barack Obama, Virginia, a two-party state in down-ballot races, had not sided with Democrats on the presidency since Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Jimmy Carter in 1976 was the last Democratic nominee to win North Carolina. Each state is in play again, with Romney needing to reclaim Florida and at least one of the others to reach the White House.

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'Solid South' no longer just all-red or all-blue

As political preferences change, the predictability factor for determining which a state's ruling political party wavers.


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