We are exactly one week away from a pivotal Election Day and all indications are that the most crucial midterm races are agonizingly close. Candidates from both parties are delivering their closing messages in hopes of swaying a diminishing pool of Americans who have not yet decided how they will mark their ballots.

Todd Belt, director of the Political Management master’s program at the GW Graduate School of Political Management, says the recent surge in hyperpartisanship and political polarization has turned the coveted swing voter into an endangered species that could determine the balance of power nationwide.

"We see people really caring more about national politics and who is in control in Washington, D.C., rather than following Tip O’Neill’s old axiom that ‘all politics is local’ and really caring more about the characteristics of the candidates they are choosing.

We’re seeing the parties become more important and the candidates become less important.”

WATCH: Todd Belt on breaking through political polarization in the midterm elections