Opinion: National electoral map: Obama seizes 273 to beat McCain


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Here’s the latest national electoral map published in The Ticket courtesy of Karl Rove & Co.

New state polls -- 39 in all -- conducted in the first three days of this month show the Democratic ticket of Barack Obama and Joe Biden continuing to lead Republican John McCain and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and, indeed, over the weekend acquiring just enough hypothetical electoral votes to win the presidency.


For the first time since mid-July, Obama has more than the necessary 270 electoral votes (273) with the movement from the toss-up captegory into his column of Minnesota and New Hampshire.

So the totals (the state-poll methodology is explained on the jump) now are 273 for Obama-Biden and 163 for McCain-Palin with 102 electoral votes remaining in the toss-up category.

Rove’s analysis notes that Obama leads in every state carried by John Kerry in 2004 plus the states of New Mexico, Iowa and Colorado.

But he adds that all these polls were conducted before the most-watched vice presidential debate in the nation’s history, last Thursday. So they do not measure what effect, if any, that confrontation had on the race. State polls traditionally lag behind national ones, so the debate effect won’t start showing up in them until later this week.

A chart showing the race’s numerous up-and-down swings since July 1 can be viewed by clicking on the ‘Read more’ line below. The methodology is also explained there.

--Andrew Malcolm

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For each state, the map uses the average of all public telephone polls (Internet polls are not included in the average) taken within 14 days of the most recent poll available in each state.


For example, if the most recent poll in Montana was taken on July 1, the average includes all polls conducted between July 1 and 15. States within a three-point lead for McCain or Obama are classified as toss-ups; states outside the three-point lead are allocated to the respective candidate.

There is no polling data available for the District of Columbia, but its three electoral votes are allocated to Obama.

This map and chart published courtesy of Karl Rove & Co.