White House race contested in far fewer states than in past

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FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2012, file photo Cheryl Banks, left to right, and Genny Armstrong open and process vote-by-mail applications in Cleveland, Ohio, in preparation for early voting for November presidential election. Five weeks to Election Day, President Barack Obama is within reach of the requisite 270 Electoral College votes needed to win a second term according to an Associated Press analysis. Mitt Romney can still prevail in the race to amass the necessary votes, but his path to victory has become much narrower. To overtake Obama, the Republican challenger would need to quickly gain the upper hand in nearly all of the nine states where he and Obama are competing the hardest. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File) Photo by