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That is part of the reason why he thinks the race there is shaping up more to be like 2004, when Mr. Bush won the state, than 2008, when Mr. Obama turned it blue. “But it is going to be a dogfight,” Mr. Bennett said. “I don’t kid myself.”

The latest average of polls shows Mr. Obama leading in Ohio, where he kicked off his re-election bid last month. Mr. Romney, meanwhile, holds a razor-thin advantage in Florida.

“Florida is by every account a dead heat,” said Susan MacManus, a political-science professor at the University of South Florida. “The [Interstate 4] corridor is going to be critical again, and so is the South Florida area, with regards to Hispanic voters and, to a lesser extent, the Jewish vote.”

Brian Moran, chairman of the Virginia Democratic Party, said the political world should keep an eye on what happens in the Old Dominion, where Mr. Obama in 2008 swung the state into the Democratic column for the first time in 44 years.

“It is no exaggeration that Virginia is the battleground,” Mr. Moran said, arguing that this president’s fate is likely tied to how well he performs in the Washington, D.C., suburbs. “There are very few scenarios that demonstrate that either of the candidates can win without Virginia.”

Mr. Priebus, meanwhile, offered his theory in a conference call with reporters last week. He said the mystery of who will win the presidential election could be solved in Wisconsin this week in the outcome of Mr. Walker’s recall election. A Walker win, Mr. Priebus predicted of his fellow Wisconsinite, will make it harder for Mr. Obama to carry the state.

“Certainly, if Wisconsin goes red, it is lights out for Obama. So clearly putting Wisconsin in the red column for the first time since 1984 is a pretty big deal,” he said.