Associated PressA look at the race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney for the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House. Obama is within reach, although North Carolina, which the Democrat carried in 2008, has begun leaning toward Romney, according to an Associated Press analysis.
The analysis isn’t intended to predict the outcome of the Nov. 6 election. Rather, it’s meant to provide a snapshot of a race that has been stubbornly close in the small number of most competitive states all year. The analysis is based on public polls and internal campaign surveys as well as spending on television advertising, candidate visits, get-out-the-vote organizations and interviews with dozens of Republican and Democratic strategists in Washington, and in the most contested states.
A look at where the race stands state by state. The numbers in parenthesis reflect electoral votes.
SOLIDLY DEMOCRATIC (186):
California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
LEANING DEMOCRATIC (85):
Iowa (6) — Romney sees opportunity in a key state for Obama in 2008. He’s visited twice in past week with a third trip planned for Monday. But Obama’s edge in eastern Iowa’s swing territory seen as greater than Romney’s edge in GOP-heavy western Iowa.
Michigan (16) — Despite lingering economic pain in the auto capital, Michigan has large minority and union voting blocs that favor Obama. Romney, a native son whose father was governor, sensed opportunity earlier in the campaign but his opposition to auto industry bailout is seen as prohibitive.
Minnesota (10) — Low unemployment and a long streak of Democratic presidential nominees carrying Minnesota give Obama confidence. But Romney began advertising there last week, followed quickly by Obama. Some see the ads as a way to reach competitive western Wisconsin, although Romney aides discussing sending Romney and Ryan there in campaign’s final week in light of tightening polls.
New Mexico (5) — Influx of Hispanic and younger voters are Obama advantages in this state pivotal in 2000 and 2004.
Ohio (18) — Obama has the organizing advantage, and unemployment has dropped steadily and held below the national rate this year. Obama reminded during debates that he’s due some of the credit for keeping Ohio auto plants open and expanding by supporting industry bailout. Romney is not ceding an inch. Some polls show race tightening, but most public and internal polls show Obama with the edge.
Pennsylvania (20) — Pennsylvania has been Democratic territory in recent presidential races. Romney has continued campaigning here and the Republican National Committee is advertising in the state. But registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 1 million.
Wisconsin (10) — Having led early on, Obama now running nearly even in polls with Romney, who hopes having native son Ryan on the ticket will help. Still, Obama is well organized in the state. It has a heavy union membership and many minorities, and Democrats have carried the state in past six presidential campaigns.