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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 2008: State of the Race
McCain’s bounce in the national polls has started to trickle down to the state level—he now trails Obama by 26 electoral votes, making the race closer now than it has been at any point since early June. Overall, Obama holds on to 226 electoral votes, while McCain moves up to 200 votes, and 112 votes are a toss-up, a new high. McCain picked up two states from the toss-up column, Montana (3 EV) and North Dakota (3 EV), likely putting an end to Obama’s efforts to target the traditionally Republican states. One bright spot for Obama is that a new poll in New Hampshire (4 EV) moved the Granite State from toss-up to his column. But the largest shift in the race came from two swing states that Gore and Kerry both won, Michigan (17 EV) and Pennsylvania (21 EV) moving from Obama to toss-up. It’s very difficult to see how Obama can get to 270 electoral votes without those states. Meanwhile, two other toss-up states, Virginia (13 EV) and Florida (27 EV) edged closer to McCain—he now is ahead by 3 points in both states. If McCain has another similarly favorable week, both may move to his column and give him an Electoral College lead.
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