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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 map's release date (all polls earlier than that will drop off). For example, the map published on October 15 does not include any poll earlier than October 1, except if the latest poll in a state was conducted before that date (for example, the most recent poll in Vermont was taken on August 31). States within a three-point lead for the Republican or Democratic candidate are classified as toss-ups; states between a five-to-eight-point lead for the Republican or Democratic candidate are classified as "lean" for that candidate; states outside the eight-point lead are allocated to the respective party. Please note: for some states, the most recent polls available at this time are up to one year old and other states with no polling yet available have been classified Republican or Democrat based on their 2008 results.

Election 2012: State of the Race

Despite the recent media infatuation on post-convention "bounces" in national polls, there have been no state changes in the Electoral College map since last week. Mitt Romney's standing has improved in several states, particularly in the two states that hosted the Democratic and Republican national party conventions. Mr. Romney now leads in North Carolina by three points, while Barack Obama's small lead in Florida has been erased, with the race there now tied. Mr. Romney's "safe" and "lean" states award him a combined total of 191 Electoral College votes, while Mr. Obama's give him 225 - a lead of just 34 EC votes. With nine states and 122 EC votes up for grabs, keep and eye on movement in these toss up states over the next few weeks, as they will likely be the deciders in this election.
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The Triumph of William McKinley

This book offers a fresh look at President William McKinley, whose 1896 campaign defeated William Jennings Bryan, ended a period of bitter gridlock, and reformed and modernized his party. The 1896 election is a drama in its own right, but McKinley's transformative political strategies and campaign tactics offer important lessons for both political parties today who face a similar landscape and many of the same challenges.

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