After a presidential primary campaign so far largely devoid of debate on education, the topic could be a decisive one in 2012, according to a new survey sponsored by the College Board, the Huffington Post reports. And the focus on education — an issue that doesn’t cut neatly between Democrats and Republicans — might prove tricky for former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, whose education policies are similar in substance, if not in tone, to those of President Barack Obama. So far, education has only arisen on the campaign trail when candidates try to bolster their conservative credentials. According to an analysis by The Guardian, education only comprised one percent of debate questions. But according to the College Board survey out Wednesday, this may soon change as candidates pivot to court that all-important category of general election voters: citizens of swing states. When asked to rank issues in order of importance, education ranked third — and 67 percent of swing voters listed the issue as “extremely important.” Black, Hispanic, Democratic and female voters are most likely to rank education toward the top of their list…

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staff and wire services reports