ARLINGTON, Va. (WUSA) -- The Commonwealth is becoming more critical in the election for both candidates, and it's become too close to call in the state.
Political experts say they're watching three key states which are hotly contested: Virginia, Nevada and Ohio.
And it appears the path to the White House means carrying Virginia.
The candidates are fiercely campaigning in the state. The President was in Va. Beach and Roanoke Friday and in Richmond and Centreville Saturday.
Rival Republican candidate Mitt Romney made stops in the state two weeks ago.
George Mason University Associate Professor on public policy Jeremy Mayer: "Virginia's been ignored but this year it is front page news. Virginia is so crucial it is going to be, in the opinion of most, a very close election also there are very few paths to the White House for Mitt Romney that don't involve taking Virginia. If Obama can stop Romney in Virginia it's tough to see how he gets the White House."
The magic number is 270 electoral votes to win. There are 13 electoral votes up for grabs in the Commonwealth. A state that has two sides, Northern Virginia and the rest of the state. Tidewater, Southside and Roanoke have a strong Republican base.
Mr. Obama would have to win Northern Virginia, convincingly, to take Virginia.
Mayer, "He doesn't need to win northern Virginia, he needs to crush Romney in northern Virginia. A simple win would be a victory for Romney. Romney wants to keep it close and Obama has to destroy Romney in the voter turnout in Northern Virginia.
Virginia is a necessary win for Romney and a nice to win for Obama but things could change. If Republicans are serious about Wisconsin and Michigan and those numbers start to close than it will be Obama who is desperate to win Virginia.
President Obama won Virginia in 2008, the first Democrat in 45 years and since Lyndon Johnson claimed victory.
Since Mayer says Virginia has been in the back pocket of the Republicans, he says this will be the first time we see a full presidential race with political ads, go head to head in the Commonwealth.