EDITOR'S NOTE: CNN has sent dozens of reporters, producers, contributors and correspondents to the key battleground states to cover the final days of the 2012 election. Here is a brief report from one team:
(CNN) - Get on board the CNN Express for the Battleground State Bus Tour – 1,800 miles across the key swing states of this presidential election: Florida, Virginia and Ohio.
This election will be decided by swing voters in swing counties of these swing states – and that's who Ali Velshi and I will be talking with in the two week run up to Election Day.
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We're kicking off the Battleground State Bus Tour in Florida – the most famous and electoral delegate rich of all the swing states, where Al Gore came within 537-votes of being president in 2000 instead of George W. Bush.
Last night's third and final presidential debate in Boca Raton between President Obama and Mitt Romney focused on foreign policy – but that's not what is driving most swing voter's decisions here.
Instead, it's the intersection of politics and the economy that will determine their vote – and therefore the next president of the United States.
The latest CNN/ORC poll of Florida has likely voters split 49 to 48 percent between the Romney-Ryan ticket and Obama-Biden. Voters under 50 give Obama a 20-point edge.
But in a state where 16% of the population is age 65 or older, Romney is leading Obama by 56 to 43% among senior citizens. That's why Medicare and healthcare debates have been particularly resonant here.
Most revealing is the exact 46 to 46 split among independents and 48 to 48 among pivotal suburban voters. Whichever candidate gets the edge with these groups will win the state and quite possibly the entire election.
The key swing district of Florida runs appropriately across the center of the state, tracing the line of the I-4 corridor, from Tampa Bay to the Space Coast. And that's where we'll be driving the first few days of the Battleground State Bus Tour, spending Tuesday and Wednesday in Polk County and Orange County.
While the national unemployment rate has declined, rural Polk County's unemployment rate remains over 10% – well over the national average. The party registration split in the county is 39% Democrat, 37% Republican and 20% independent.
These statistics determine the contours of the county – but people are more than percentages and we'll be listening to their stories and getting their take on the issues driving their decision in this election.