It's been a month since I first took a serious look at the general election map, so now is as good a time as any for an update.
Here's my best sense of the interviews, reportage, polling and guesswork. The big moves this month: New Hampshire is back in the tossup column. I think I may have prematurely moved it to lean Obama, but I'm getting the sense from some NH Dems that the big liberal wave has crested there. I'm also moving North Carolina from McCain's base to tilt-McCain. Several recent polls have shown Barack Obama within five points. North Carolina is a state where a huge turnout, and only a huge turnout, would make Obama competitive; he doesn't need to increase his share of the black or white professional vote, he needs to make sure that those groups vote at a higher rate relative to others. As of today, there's no evidence that Georgia can be Obama's Ohio. I'm moving Wisconsin to the lean Obama column and making Missouri a toss-up.
McCain's base states + his leaners: 220 electoral votes.
Obama's base states + his leaners: 212 electoral votes.
Tossups: 107 electoral votes.
McCain's base states -- 159 electoral votes.
Texas (34), West Virginia (5), South Carolina (8), Kentucky (8), Tennessee (11), Alabama (9), Mississippi (6), Louisiana (9), Arkansas (6), Wyoming (3), Idaho (4), Utah (5), Arizona (10), Alaska (3), Oklahoma (7), Kansas (6), Nebraska (5), South Dakota (3), North Dakota (3) Goergia (15)
Tilt McCain states -- 61 electoral votes.
Indiana (11) -- haven't seen a good general election poll since April
North Carolina (15)
Florida (27) -- This one may be moving away from McCain, too. He's underperforming in South Florida and North Florida and getting roughly what he needs from Central Florida.
Nevada (5) -- This is an unusual state where the regular rules don't apply.
Tossups: Virginia (13), Missouri (11), Pennsylvania (21) Iowa (7), Ohio (20), New Mexico (5), Colorado (9), New Hampshire (4), Michigan (17) -- 107 electoral votes
Obama's base states -- 159 electoral votes --
Washington, D.C. (3), Maryland (10), California (55), New York (31), Vermont (3), Massachusetts (12), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), Rhode Island (4), Illinois (21), Hawaii (4), Maine (4)
Tilt Obama States -- 53 electoral votes
Minnesota (10) -- If Pawlenty is McCain's veep the state is marginally more in play; the GOP gets the force multiplier of the convention. Else, the state would be safe Obama.
Washington (11) -- McCain campaign wants to contend here
Oregon (7) -- McCain campaign wants to contend here
Wisconsin (10) -- Working class whites in WI vote differently than working class whites in states south of Wisconsin.
New Jersey (15) -- McCain should be doing better here.
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