CNN Chief National Correspondent
Obama in reliably Republican North Carolina on Monday?
McCain in “blue state” Pennsylvania on Wednesday?
It’s proof the campaign is in a “feeling out” phase, with each campaign testing to see if it can redraw the traditional Electoral College map.
For Obama, that means looking to see if he can compete in places that were solid George W. Bush states in both 2000 and 2004; Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia are a few he hopes to target.
And for McCain, testing to see whether Obama’s problems with blue-collar whites will carry over into the general election means exploring his chances in places like Pennsylvania and Michigan, two big electoral prizes that are critical to any Democratic strategy for victory.
An early CNN analysis sees a competitive race at this early juncture in the battle for the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House.
Our “solid Democratic” map includes 10 states and the District of Columbia that together have 153 electoral votes.
Four states with 37 more are “lean Democratic.” (so Obama’s early foundation is 190)
Our solid Republican map includes 16 states with 125 electoral votes. Eight states with 69 more “lean Republican.” (so McCain’s early foundation is 194)
There are a dozen states we consider “tossup” at the moment based on factors that could include recent polling, assessments from the two campaigns and other party strategists, and conversations with political leaders in those states. The dozen tossups at this juncture carry a total of 154 electoral votes.
Curious as to where your state falls? CNNPolitics.com has a map we will update between now and November as we track the campaign on a state by state basis.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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