I use FTM 2012 with the place convention of City, County, State, USA. (I am not using sync, but refer to the PC based stand alone program.)
Almost inevitably I wind up with 2 groups of people listed in 'Places' for each state. Example: 25 people in one place named 'Virginia, USA'....AND 9 people in another place with exactly the same name, 'Virginia, USA'...and so on for nearly every state.
I have tried copying one name and pasting it in place of the other to try to combine the two into a single place name (here with 34 people). It did not work, nor have any of the other ways I have used to try to force the two into a single place...
EXCEPT the following which does work and is easy to do:
a) Select one of the troublesome places, say 'Texas, USA' and in the top line, top right hand panel display, take off the A of USA and press enter. Result: 'Texas, US'.
b) Do exactly the same for the 2nd place 'Texas, USA'. Take off the A and press enter.
c) Now the two combine and there is only 1 place (where there were 2) and it is 'Texas, US'
d) In the same panel at the top right, add the A back to US to get 'Texas, USA' and press enter.
This is a bit difficult to explain so if you are having this problem and want a more accurate description, let me know and I will try harder to learn and use the correct terminology.