October 15th, 2008
05:01 PM ET
10 years ago

Electoral Map Update: A red state swings toward Obama


Check out the latest CNN electoral map estimate.

(CNN) - For the first time in the election cycle, CNN’s Electoral Map estimates that Democrat Barack Obama has moved over the 270 electoral vote threshold needed to win the White House. The hotly contested state of Virginia moves from “tossup” to “lean Obama.” North Dakota moves from “safe McCain” to “lean McCain,” and New Jersey moves from “lean Obama” to “safe Obama.”

As a result, 13 electoral votes swing from the tossup column to the Obama column. Obama now leads McCain by 103 electoral votes, up from 90 when the CNN Electoral Map was last updated on October 7. CNN now estimates that if the presidential election were held today, Obama would win 277 electoral votes and John McCain 174. There are 87 electoral votes up for grabs. Again, 270 electoral votes are needed to win the White House.

Obama continues to make gains on the Electoral Map - and chip away at McCain's territory - thanks to results from states that typically support Republican presidential candidates.

Election Center: Check out CNN's latest electoral map

"Virginia hasn't gone Democratic in 44 years," noted CNN Senior Political Researcher Alan Silverleib. "But a number of polls - including our own - now show Obama up double digits there. And, as the map shows, if Obama holds that lead, it may be enough to put him into the White House. Conversely, McCain really can't afford to lose Virginia's 13 electoral votes. That state is a key part of the Republican electoral coalition."

The GOP ticket has spent much of the week stumping in traditionally red states where Obama seems poised for an unexpectedly strong showing, including Virginia and North Carolina. A new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released earlier Wednesday showed Obama with a 10 point lead In Virginia.

Election Center: View the latest state polls

"Of course, it's important to remember that the CNN Electoral Map is a snapshot in time," said Silverleib. "We are not predicting an Obama win on Election Day. We still have twenty days to go, and that's an eternity in politics."

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. The list will be updated regularly as the campaign develops over time.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (574 Responses)
  1. sara, az

    Why on earth do you guys still have Washington State as "leaning" Obama? I realize that it's up there in the corner and oh-so-hard to change your east coast focus but really...the western half of Washington is a blue as it can be and there aren't a whole lot of folks east of the Cascades that can balance liberal Seattle.

    Could you please update your map just a little to reflect current polls and historical patterns?

    October 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |

    America is moving in the right direction. I'm so happy to see it and can't wait until the election becomes history.

    October 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. obamacrat

    This trend will only continue after tonight's debate. The dow just lost another 600 points and McCain's going to talk about a Bill Ayers.

    October 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. Lisa --


    October 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. GeorgiaPeachforObama

    Georgia is starting to shift in Obama's direction as well.

    October 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. Steve From Dallas

    God help us all.....

    His amnesty program to his giving taxes rebates to those that did not pay anything into the system... is going to KILL this already hurt economy.

    October 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. Obama for President

    Hold em steady buddy until Nov. 5th!!!!

    Obama 08!!!!

    October 15, 2008 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. Ramen Dude

    The map hasn't been updated yet.

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  9. paul

    We can only hope that the polls are correct, yet the past reminds us to be optimistically cautious. And even MORE caution is needed with Exit Polls. As Researcher Alan Silverleib states: ..."that's an eternity in politics." and it holds true even in the final hours of voting.

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. No More Mistakes

    haha...this race is just about OVER!!

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  11. EBJ in metro Houston

    man too bad we can't in my state Texas the REDDEST of red states in the union go that way. I mean this is the state that brought us not one but TWO President Bushs. If you ever check demographics it's usually areas where you have people with less formal or advanced education that go red and outside of the metroplex and Austin there's too many of that kind in the lone star state. But I do notice more Obama/Biden signs down here and not just in African-American areas either.

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  12. Pro

    Only five percent are wealthy in the U.S. while the rest of us are losing everything John McCain and Scary Palin talk about garbage that will not help the majority of Americans.

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  13. Reese from NC

    Time to turn these poll numbers into actual votes people. Everybody vote early and on Nov. 4th help others vote. We cannot take this news for granted. The battle has just begun. Time to go to work.
    Obama/Biden 08/12

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. IndependentGA

    Everyone knows what McCain's strategy is going to be these last 20 days... Just as erratic and incoherent as the previous days, weeks and months before.
    If you want proof that McCain doesn't have the judgment to be commander in chief, look no further than his choice for VP. Scary, huh?
    Finally, people are waking up and smelling the coffee. Virginia won't be the only red state to turn blue either. He will win Ohio or FLorida, maybe both.
    This is a referendum on the fail "policies" of the republican party. No offense to McCain... He's just running in the wrong election, at the wrong place, at the wrong time.

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Darla (Edmonton, Canada)

    John McCain ... please suspend your campaign for GOOD and put the nation out of its misery of listening to you and Sarah Palin make fools of yourselves.

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  16. Sean

    Don't stop now Obama: Steamroll over MCCain, right into the White House!

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  17. shirley

    The COUNTRY is waking up BIG TIME! McCain should have gone with his first mind in picking his VP. He allowed the right wing to make the decision for him. Always stick to your first mind. We've all heard that!!!

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  18. Michael

    Obama is set to clean sweep the so-called Battleground States. And he is going to pull with him a handful of Red States, including Indiana, North Dakota, Montana, West Virginia and, perhaps, even Georgia. This baby ain't even close.

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  19. ednadavid

    At this point in our country – people are hurting – democrats, republicans and everyone else in between – they are looking for a leader who can get this country back on track and that is Barack!!

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  20. L in Virginia

    yeah! Obama supporters: don't be complacent- make sure you go out and vote

    October 15, 2008 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  21. Bob Indianapolis IN

    Seriously, Dumbya needs to take Shotgun Dick for a nice long hunting trip in Texas and stay out of the public eye....this is getting ridiculous!

    October 15, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  22. Peter (CA)

    20 more days.....I just wish it would end!

    Anything is possible but it sure is looking good and it is heartening to see that the lies and hate that the Republican slime machine trots out during each Presidential election is not getting traction this time.

    Right wingers will continue to harp on issues that have no substance instead of what matters....the economy, the environment, fair policies benefitting all, and the judgment to choose a running mate who is competent.

    October 15, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  23. CJ

    What is that? McCain has Obama right where he wants him? (laugh)

    October 15, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. Ex-Republican for Obama

    We're taking our country back. The GOP has screwed us for far too many years. And the saddest thing, they have given us a ticket that would be even WORSE then the Bush administration.

    It's time we send them a loud message, no more criminals in office. That means no to McCain and Palin.

    We need wisdom and solutions, not investigations and allegations.

    Obama/Biden '08. The intelligent choice for patriotic, god fearing and family value voters.

    October 15, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  25. John, Austin TX

    HUGE LANDSLIDE FOR OBAMA NOV 4. I'm proud of the entire Obama Camp. You guys are amazing. Hillary, I love you too!! And all the scholar Republicans who support Obama! We're going to win and we're going to win it big. Palin, McCain – both of your careers are over!!


    October 15, 2008 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
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