(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.