Our monthly look at the Electoral College race: Obama still leads but not by as much
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Since July, Capitol Report New Mexico has taken a look at the beginning of each month to see how the Barack Obama-Mitt Romney race is shaping up in the only competition that matters — the contest to pick up 270 votes in the Electoral College.
Now that it’s a new month, here’s the map as of Sept. 4 by Real Clear Politics, which bases its map by combining opinion polls in individual states across the country:
Obama still has the lead but his margin is not as wide as it was when we last checked on Aug. 5.
At that time, Real Clear Politics projected Obama with a 247-191 edge. What happened in the past month? Michigan (with 16 Electoral College votes) and Wisconsin (10 Electoral College votes) have moved from the “Leans Obama” category to the “Toss Up” category.
There are now 10 states with a combined 126 Electoral College votes in the “Toss Up” category.
Here’s how they break down in Real Clear Politics’ overall averages in polling data:
Colorado (9 Electoral College votes) +1.0 Obama
Florida (29) +1.0 Obama
Iowa (6) +0.2 Obama
Michigan (16) +2.4 Obama
Nevada (6) +3.3 Obama
New Hampshire (4) +3.5 Obama
North Carolina (15) +2.0 Romney
Ohio (18) +1.4 Obama
Virginia (13) +0.6 Obama
Wisconsin (10) +1.4 Obama
The good news for Obama is that he’s ahead in nine of those 10 states. The bad news is that in only one of those states (New Hampshire) has his lead grown in the past month. Obama was up by 3.0 in the Granite State when we checked back on Aug. 5. Now his lead according to Real Clear Politics is 3.5.
But the President has seen his lead shrink in the past month in Colorado (from 3.0 to 1.0), Florida (from 1.4 to 1.0), Iowa (from 1.3 to 0.2), Nevada (5.3 to 3.3), Ohio (4.8 to 1.4) and Virginia (2.8 to 0.6).
Romney’s lead in North Carolina has grown in the Real Clear Politics average in the past month from 0.8 to 2.0.
It seems there has been a bump for Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan as his running mate in Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin. On Aug. 5, Obama led by 6.0 points but that lead is now down to 1.4.
New Mexico is still listed in the “Leans Obama” category. On Aug. 5, Obama led by 10.7 points in the Real Clear Politics average. Today (Sept. 4) he leads by 10.0.