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. Schneider (I) - CA

    Don't believe that hype. Polls of likely voters have this contest much closer, with only a spread of 5 pts. Easily within the grasp of McCain should Obama stumble at all. Plus with all the negative stories out there – ACORN, Ayers, Wright, "spread the wealth" etc – McCain's mud-slinging strategy could lower Obama turnout (perhaps already artifically estimated due to inflate registrations numbers).

    October 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  2. It,s Time for Change

    I feel thing winds of positive change and I couldn't be prouder of our nation for having the courage to do the right thing.

    October 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  3. Kevin,FL

    Don't get to happy.. Look at 2004 and John Kerry he was leading in the Electoral Votes and he still lost

    October 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  4. Karen- Bring on the Elections - WE ARE ONE

    My Fellow American's, I'm not referring to Democrats or Republicans or black or white people. I'm talking to us all Americas who see country united as one. Obama is trying to get across to all of us. Let's stay focus not forget what happened to GORE. I'm truly excited but will rejoice if Obama is elected on as President of the United States Nov. 4. God knows he has gone through hell from the McCain camp and 20 months of prying, poking, and judging every words he says. I don't know of anyone else in politics has gone through this much scrutiny.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  5. RJ

    It's about time. The grumpy old mand needs to retire and SHALLOW PALIN needs to go back to Alaska because she will have a tough time keeping her post. People in Alaska saw her SHALOWNESS and they are shocked that she is represnting them.

    October 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  6. Joe

    Vote! Vote! Vote! These polls are great and all but it means nothing if people sit at home and expect others to make it to the voting booths for them!

    I cannot wait to see & hear Sean Hannity have the words"President Obama" come out of his smug mouth the night after election day on his show.

    OBAMA / BIDEN 08/12

    October 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. Gregg - Florida

    I love how the McCain followers sign on as Anonymous, it is indeed just a matter of time now, Repubs had 8 years to change this country, look at us now, how anyone could vote McCain for 4 more years of the same is beyond me, gratz Obama, we are with you.......Obama // Biden 08

    October 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. GA is not going Blue

    I am sorry to inform you that just because the city limits of ATL are going blue, they do not even nearly represent the rest of this very large state.

    October 15, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  9. Brian

    This is just a guess, but I'm pretty sure the electoral map may also be an accurate reflection of vastly different cultural values, too.

    October 15, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  10. Faulk Baby!!!

    Virginia is for Lovers (of Obama Biden 08)

    October 15, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  11. BJGT

    As if today, fivethirtyeight.com gives Obama more than 360 electoral votes, and a 96% chance of winning.

    The question now is how much icing will there be on the cake? I say this not out of cockiness or complacency, but out of my deep admiration and faith in Barack Obama, no matter the calamity, no matter the October surprise. It is my deepest instinct that this is his time, he's earned it, and no one's going to take it away from him.

    October 15, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  12. Linda, Richmond, Virginia

    That's right! Virginia is going BLUE!

    We have been working VERY hard here to make this happen!


    October 15, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  13. TL

    CHEERS! vote EARLY!

    October 15, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  14. C




    October 15, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  15. josh

    All I read today was about how all the polls are leaning harder towards Obama. Then I looked at the stock market. Clearly divergent paths here. Obama is not good for the economy. Getting handouts and rebates is peanuts. We need an environment of growth for small business so that companies can grow, which is directly related to your wage. A better paying job means more for you and Uncle Sam, which means more growth, which means higher wages, get it?
    Entitlement breeds more entitlement. Lose the incentive to work and people won't work, that is where we are now and a road we will remain on under Obama.

    Let go of the fantasy, this is a cruel world and we will not change that. We can only protect ourselves and work our hardest to retain our freedom and status in this world.

    October 15, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  16. ANGIE


    October 15, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  17. Luis


    October 15, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  18. Dinah

    If you can, vote early for Obama. I am waiting for a repeat from the Republican Party to interfere with the voting process. I also want to say if, God forbid, something terrible was to happen to Obama I will personally hold both Palin and McCain morally responsible. They are both such wonderful “Christians”. If that is what being a “Christian” is all about then “THANKS BUT NO THANKS”.

    October 15, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Z

    Finally – I am so proud to be Virginians... Good bye fear – Hello change!

    Obama – O'eight – Oh Yeah !!!

    October 15, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  20. Team America

    This is why they play the game folks. We'll see who wins what states on election day. These polls and stats don't matter, especially from the liberal media. It's who each American feels more comfortable with in the voting booth on nov. 4. I'm voting McCain because of his experience and his military service to our nation. I'd rather our next President have a military background wtih the way the world is today, especially with the US in two wars. But, if you wanna entrust your vote to Obama, who has no military experience, no foreign policy experience, and would probably dirty his pants the first time in the Situation Room, then go ahead and vote Obama......cuz this is America, where every liberal nutjob has the right to vote on their ignorance.

    October 15, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Jerry

    Jersey was always safe. It has been for 20 years.

    October 15, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. brian thompson

    iv'e been "OBAMATIZED!!"

    October 15, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. Sally from Cali

    What McCain and Palin are not telling you about ACORN is that the fake registrations are meaningless if the fake people do not try to vote. The ACORN workers were faking their voter registration quotas to get paid. If anything the percentage of newly registered voters is distorted. It is voter fraud if the fake voters show up with fake id's and try to vote and that might be hard if the voter registration cards were mailed to the no-existent fake addresses.

    Gee, I hope this comes up in the debate so that Obama can explain it to all of us on national TV instead of talking about his economic plan and the real issues that need to be addressed. That sounds like a really good use of the air time.

    October 15, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. ANGIE

    Obama said he was gonna change the map!

    October 15, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Tim

    I got nothing to say except...

    Obama / Biden 2008

    October 15, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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