Virginia Named Key Swing State Again - - ABC13

Virginia Named Key Swing State Again


Reporter: Mark Kelly l Videographer: Daniel Heffner

Lynchburg, VA - Virginia is center stage in the race for the White House. President Obama made five stops across the Commonwealth, including Roanoke just last weekend. Romney's team wasn't far behind. With four months until election day, political ads on Virginia airwaves seem never-ending.

The Old Dominion may not have the most people, but a political expert tells ABC 13 the Commonwealth is crucial for the presidency. That's why on the air waves, the insults have already started.

There are weeks to go until the party conventions and the official election season. Still, the campaign is full speed ahead on Virginia televisions. Some say they are already tuning it out.

"I'm ready for it to be truthful and not mud-slinging," said Melanie Auxier.

"There's nobody to vote for. I mean, they are arguing among each other, not telling us what we need," said Michael Formon.

"Virginia used to be a safe state," said Joe Freeman.

Joe Freeman's been in the political trenches - a former Lynchburg mayor turned Lynchburg College professor. Virginia, he says, is a swing state in 2012. That means expect more of TV ads.

"The swing states are the ones where the campaign money goes. And the campaign money is mostly spent on television advertising," said Freeman.

The real fight is over the Electoral College. Virginia is like the goldilocks of electoral college delegates - not too many, not too few, but just the right amount of delegates up for grabs to keep candidates campaigning here. Freeman says the key is capturing the 13 Electoral College votes. The swing voters who look at the person, not the party.

"I used to be a Republican back in '68 - Nixon - when I went to Vietnam. But no more. I'm just an independent. I'm just going to go on the guy I think is best," said Formon.

Professor Freeman says the goal right now for Obama and Romney is to keep the base fired up and loyal. It's swing states like Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and of course Virginia that pick Presidents.

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