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National electoral map: Drift from McCain toward Obama persists

As the Nov. 4 general election day nears -- now just six weeks away, which seems like 18 if you're out there campaigning -- the number of state polls increases. They're the basis for the National Electoral Map from Karl Rove & Co. that The Ticket publishes regularly.

Polls in recent days continue to show a slight drift toward Barack Obama -- old Republican-reliable Indiana with its 11 electoral votes has slipped from the John McCain column into toss-up since the last map.

Colorado's nine electoral votes went from toss-up into the Obama column, while Minnesota's 10 votes went from Obama to toss-up.

McCain continues to hold the slimmest of national leads over Obama, with 216 electoral votes to Obama’s 215, and 107 in the toss-up category. But, Rove speculates, "If the movement toward Obama in national polls continues to percolate down to the states, we could see an Obama lead later this week."

The study's methodology is explained on the jump, which also contains a chart showing each week's electoral vote movements since March. Click on the "read more" line to get there.

-- Andrew Malcolm




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 July 15.

States within a 3-point lead for McCain or Obama are classified as toss-ups; states outside the 3-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.

Map and chart published courtesy of Karl Rove & Co.

Comments () | Archives (14)

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We are being polled to death, Every minute a new poll, every second a new spin on a new poll.

We need a polling break to catch our breath.

VJ Machiavelli

Interesting. If I were a statistician looking purely at the data in the Electoral Polling Trend graph, I would write a headline that said something like, "Obama at lowest point since mid-july, continuing to trend downward".
But then again, silly me for not 'spinning' my headline.
Its really the tossups that are increasing... and more interesting.

If I wanted my figures and analysis to just reek of credibility, I'd definitely get them from Karl Rove.

God forbid that Obama should win! America's economy or foreign policy will not stand an Obama administration. It's one think to have an inexperienced VP candidate but to have inexperience at the top of the ticket disaster!

"If I were a statistician looking purely at the data in the Electoral Polling Trend graph, I would write a headline that said something like, "Obama at lowest point since mid-july, continuing to trend downward"."

But Bill, you're not a statistician. That much is obvious because you'd be looking only at the graph. If Karl Rove is detecting a trend toward Obama then McCain must really be in trouble.

This site is better for EV projection junkies:

I think there's an error in the Methodology section of this article. In the Montana example, if the most recent poll was taken on July 1st, the average should include all polls taken between June 18th and July 1st, not those taken between July 1st and July 15th. has a much more reliable (and transparent) aggregate of state and national polls

Is there anyone who seriously believes that the electoral college actually makes sense anymore? I live in California, becasue of the overwhelming support for the Dmocratic party here, my vote means nothing. Whether I vote for McCain or Obama, Obama will get all the electoral votes. If all 23 million eligible voters in California voted for Obama, he would still only get 55 electoral votes. In theory a candidate could get 100% of the popular vote in California and lose the election by 1 electoral vote, while at the same time winning the popular vote by over 11 million votes. I don't know about everone else, but that doesn't make much sense to me.

Substitute any state you chose for the calcualtion and you can get a scenario where a candidate wins the elctoral college and loses the popular vote by a substantial margin. Add in the fact that some states with very small populations have a much higher electoral vote per voter than others, and you have the potential for a Presidential election that could put in power a President that is supported by only a relatively small portion of Americans. In addition you have huge portions of the population that rarely if ever see the candidates come to their state because it isn't a swing state.

The electoral college is an antiquated remnant of a system that was created when the fastest way of communicating was to send a message by horse, this is no way for the most powerful democracy in the world to be running an election. If we deal with this the same way we dealt with the meltdown of our economy, we will wait until there are riots all through America following an election where the President wins an overwhelming popular victory, but loses the electoral college. One would have thought that after the 2000 election debacle, someone in power would have at least suggested that we change our electoral system.

To make every vote in every state politically relevant and equal in presidential elections, support the National Popular Vote bill.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC). The bill would take effect only when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

The National Popular Vote bill has been approved by 21 legislative chambers (one house in CO, AR, ME, NC, and WA, and two houses in MD, IL, HI, CA, MA, NJ, RI, and VT). It has been enacted into law in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, and Maryland. These states have 50 (19%) of the 270 electoral votes needed to bring this legislation into effect.


I read your online posts just for amusement purposes. The LA Times has zero credability left. Just rename yourselves the Obama Rag and get it over with. LOL.

Also, prepare your "everyone is a racist" stories for November 5th after Obama gets obliterated.

I am 29 years old and got called by a pollster the other day. She was so excited I answered her questions and begged me to tell my friends to participate. Problem: almost none of my friends have a land telephone line.
I don't think these polls are accurate anymore...not everyone is reachable by telephone.

Is the LA Times doing a bit of spin for Obama? What a surprise!
Actually, BO is rapidly DECREASING in popularity according to the graphs.
I think we can see the trend INCREASING towards McCain since Obama just told Biden, his VP, to shut up because he was agreeing with McCain's policies. If this keeps up, thank God, we won't have to see Jeremiah Wright swear in Obama!

Oh those McCain trolls are entertaining. What are THEY gonna say on November 5th when Obama wins?

I agree- Nate's site is the best. And currently he shows Obama with a healthy Electoral lead.

I wouldn't believe Karl Rove if he said the sky was blue.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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