The link above is to a Real Clear Politics article which explains the challenges that face both President Obama and Mitt Romney in attempting to capture the 270 electoral votes required to win the presidential election in November. The race will probably be decided by who wins a majority of the following “swing” states:
Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.
Excerpt from the RCP article:
When potential electoral values are assigned to the two opposing camps, both sides look to John Kerry’s wins on the 2004 map as a base line for President Obama — and John McCain’s victories in 2008 as a starting point for Mitt Romney. In the minds of the political class, these focal points will always indicate an uphill climb for the challenger.
That is because assuming Obama wins the 19 states (and the District of Columbia) that Kerry did, he will net 246 electoral votes. (That’s five fewer than the 251 those states yielded in 2004, thanks to reallocation following the 2010 census.) McCain notched just 173 electoral votes in 2008. Fast-forward to this year, and the states McCain won translate to 180, which Republican officials assume will all be in the bag for Romney.