Korea's two Chungcheong-do provinces are not just in the center of Korea geographically; they also tend to be a litmus test for overall election results.
It's why the leadership of Korea's two biggest political parties spent the first day of campaigning last week on the stump for local candidates in the two central provinces.
And it's an especially important region for the ruling Saenuri Party for the elections this time round.
Whereas public anger over last month's Sewol-ho ferry accident has had a notable impact negatively on ruling party candidates in Seoul and its surrounding areas, that sentiment hasn't quite extended to the two Chungcheong-do provinces.
According to recent opinion polls conducted by Ace Research, the main opposition and ruling party candidates for governor are in neck-and-neck races there.
Moreover nearly a third of the region's voters are still undecided.
And the Saenuri Party is faring far better in the races for mayor of two main Chungcheong cities of Daejeon and Sejong city.
"With the ruling Saenuri Party badly trailing in the vitally important races in the capital and nearby Incheon city, the two Chungcheong-do provinces represent its best hope for a victory in the June 4 local elections.
Ji Myung-kil, Arirang News."