DES MOINES, Iowa -- September 30, 2012
Five weeks to Election Day, President Barack Obama seems within reach of the 270 electoral votes needed to win a second term.
Republican Mitt Romney's path to that magic number is narrowing.
To overtake Obama, Romney would need to quickly gain the upper hand in nearly all of the nine states where he and Obama are competing hardest.
Polls show the president with a steady lead in many of them.
Romney is intent on shifting the dynamics of the race, starting with the first presidential debate on Wednesday.
If the election were held today, an Associated Press analysis shows Obama would win at least 271 electoral votes, with Ohio and Iowa now among the states he would carry.
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