ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) — Barack Obama may be inching closer to the magic number of 270 electoral votes necessary to win the White House, according to the most recent update to CNN’s electoral map.
Based in part on newly released public opinion surveys, CNN has now re-classified the states of Minnesota (10 electoral votes) and Iowa (7 electoral votes) as states leaning in favor of Obama. Both states were previously categorized as toss-ups. If the election were held today, CNN currently projects that Obama would carry 19 states and the District of Columbia, for a combined total of 243 electoral votes. McCain would carry 23 states worth a combined total of 189 electoral votes.
Eight states worth a combined 106 electoral votes remain in CNN’s tossup column.
“Iowa and Minnesota look good for Obama at this point in time. He is winning whites with no college degree in Iowa and splitting them evenly with John McCain in Minnesota," said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But today's polls don't reflect any boost McCain might get from his convention, because nearly all the interviews were done before the festivities started in St. Paul. This could be Obama’s high-water mark in those states.”
Four years ago, George W. Bush carried Iowa by less than one percentage point; John Kerry won Minnesota by less than four points. The last Republican to carry Minnesota in a presidential election was Richard Nixon in 1972.
Obama won both the Iowa and the Minnesota Democratic caucuses this year. McCain finished fourth in Iowa’s GOP caucuses and second in Minnesota’s GOP caucuses.
The CNN Electoral Map is based on analysis from the CNN Political Unit and takes into account a number of factors, including polling, state voting trends, ad spending patterns, candidate visits, and guidance from the campaigns, parties, and political strategists.