Republican Mitt Romney is looking to reclaim any combination of these GOP strongholds that are now in flux.
Ahead of the Nov. 6 election, both men will talk about how they will galvanize the nation. But in reality, they will lavish travel, advertising and staff on only a dozen states, and even fewer as the vote nears.
It's a chess game aimed at reaching the 270 electoral votes needed to win.
The political spotlight will shine brightly again on Florida, and the Upper Midwest, especially Ohio. But changes in the nation's demographics will mean heavy attention to the Mid-Atlantic and Southwest.