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Painting the map red and blue

The electoral map has ebbed and flowed throughout the summer and fall, but right now it looks grim for Sen. John McCain. It takes 270 electoral votes to win the White House, and the latest polls show him playing defense in a host of states won by President Bush in 2000 and 2004 and little opportunity to win states that went Democrat.

Red states 163 electoral votes for McCain

Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Alaska Blue states 260 electoral votes for Obama

Washington, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Vermont, Minnesota Battleground states (Electoral votes in parentheses) Florida (27): It's all over for McCain if he can't keep Florida's motherlode of electoral votes in his column. Many Republicans once doubted Obama stood a chance here, but McCain is now shifting more resources from other states to fend off Obama's growing strength.

Nevada (5): Bush won the state by 3 percentage points, but Nevada has been trending more and more Democratic largely due to the growing Hispanic population.

Colorado (9): Another western state more and more receptive to Democrats who now hold both branches of the Legislature and the governor's office. Missouri (11): Missouri almost always votes for the winner in presidential elections, and until recently the state looked like a safe bet for McCain. Economic anxiety has helped turn it into a neck-and-neck race.

Indiana (11): The Hoosier state hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1964, and Bush won the state by more than 15 points four years ago. But polls show a surprisingly close race in Indiana, where Obama has invested heavily and hopes a sizeable African-American population and his home-state proximity could help him beat the historic trends.

Ohio (20): Like Florida, McCain can't afford to lose this state that decided the 2004 election. Obama lost the Ohio primary handily, and some analysts have seen the demographics as tough for Obama. But recent polls show the state is neck and neck. Virginia (13): Another reliably Republican state that is increasingly electing Democrats. Between well-heeled professionals in the Washington suburbs and a significant African-American population, this state poses a real threat to McCain.

North Carolina (15): A lot of people doubted the talk that Obama could actually put North Carolina in play, but the polls show a virtually tied race. This is another state where a strong African-American turnout could be a big factor.

New Hampshire (4): The Granite State has always been keen on McCain. John Kerry barely won here in 2004, and polls show another dead-heat race.

Source: Assorted polls.

Painting the map red and blue 10/04/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 8, 2008 4:41pm]
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