From the moment political reporters armed with leaked internal polls wrote that Obama led by mid-to-upper single digits in Ohio, the Buckeye State was widely regarded as Romney’s Achilles heel.
Throughout the Bush years, Orange County, FL, Franklin County, OH, and Bucks County, PA ascended to national preeminence as the closest counties in the closest states in the 2000 election. In 2008, the diverse and well-educated new coalition counties, like Arapahoe, CO, Fairfax, VA, Wake, NC stole the show. In 2012, Obama could easily win every county listed above and lose the election. As the suburbs diversify and Republicans compensate with additional inroads into the countryside, the old swing counties of the Bush years have largely moved into the Democratic column.