Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and oil-industry lobbyists have targeted a small group of swing states as keys to winning the White House and control over both houses of Congress. The pivotal issue in each state, in their view, is the extraction of fossil fuels, and the number of jobs the industry can produce. Here are 10 states that could decide the next election -- and with it the future of the United States.
Colorado, 9 electoral votes: A center of the fossil fuels-and-jobs debate, Colorado shows a slight, 1.8 percentage-point edge to Obama in an average of recent polls, according to RealClearPolitics. Possibly making the race close: the American Petroleum Institute projects the potential for 235,000 energy-rated jobs in the state by 2030.
Florida, 29 electoral votes: Potential offshore drilling and high gas prices make energy a pivotal issue in Florida, where polls show Obama and Romney in a dead heat.
Iowa, 6 electoral votes: In Iowa, a center for alternative fuel sources, including biofuels and wind energy, Iowa polls have Obama and Romney neck and neck.
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