The state of Wisconsin has been ignored the past few months, despite polling numbers showing the state as an extremely tight race. Will this state challenge Ohio in importance in the last week of campaigning? Experts are beginning to take North Carolina, Virginia and Florida off the board, sliding them into the Romney camp. Pennsylvania, Michigan and Nevada appear to be heading toward Obama. That leaves Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado, Ohio and Wisconsin left up for grabs.

Of this group, Colorado looks like it is headed red. New Hampshire could go either way and some question whether the four electoral votes will make a difference. They could and the state is trending very slightly toward the GOP. Iowa is holding steadily with a slight lean toward the President. If these hold true on election night, that leaves Wisconsin and Ohio and the deciding factors.

Ohio carries 18 Electoral College votes while Wisconsin awards 10 to its winner. Again, if the above states go the way they are trending, Romney would have 261 votes and Obama would have 259. To win the White House, Romney would need to win one of the two. Obama would need to sweep both.

So in fact, New Hampshire could in fact make a huge difference. If those four votes swing blue, then Romney would need to sweep Ohio and Wisconsin while the President would only need one. In the ever-changing battle of battleground states, it now looks like the “Big Three” could be Ohio, Wisconsin and New Hampshire. Currently Romney leads slightly in New Hampshire, Obama leads slightly in Wisconsin and Ohio is dead even.

It appears both campaigns are getting the message. As late as Thursday evening, both camps announced new appearances in Wisconsin to go along with their already packed schedule in the Buckeye state. Only Obama has a visit planned to New Hampshire, but that could change as the numbers continue to shake out. Romney wasn’t scheduled to be in Wisconsin until this latest announcement.

One thing is for sure; expect each candidate’s schedule to be constantly shifting and changing. Who knows – tomorrow may have Pennsylvania or Virginia back in play. Neither man will get much sleep over the next ten days.

Original article authored by Dave Dorsey on