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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
Each candidate saw three states change in his favor in the latest Electoral College map, with 2.3% movement in Barack Obama's direction and 5.3% in Mitt Romney's direction. Romney gained ten "safe" EC votes as Missouri shifted from "toss-up" to "safe Romney" status, bringing his number to 111, while Obama's total fell fifteen points to 179 with New Mexico and Minnesota moving from "safe Obama" to "lean Obama." This is the lowest number of "safe" EC votes for Obama and the highest number for Romney since this map was first released in April. There are nine states (101 EC votes) that "lean Obama" as Colorado, Michigan, and Ohio moved to "lean Obama" status, five states (71 EC votes) that "lean Romney," and six states (74 EC votes) that are "toss-ups." However, it is important to remember that there are several reliable Republican states - South Carolina, Texas, South Dakota, Kentucky, and Tennessee - still labeled "toss-up" or "lean" due to lack of polling. If these states are included in Romney's total, which they inevitably will be, he actually beats Obama in the number of "safe" EC votes, 180 to 179.
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