The political insider site The Hotline on Tuesday moved Colorado from the state’s lone “toss-up” status to “solid Obama,” helping increase the Democrat’s lead in electoral votes to 361 out of 270 needed to win election. Most strikingly, according to Hotline’s projections, Barack Obama holds a victorious 297-143 electoral vote advantage over John McCain even without considering leaning states.
A week ago, Colorado’s nine electoral votes were the only ones not assigned to either Obama or McCain, but recent polling in swing states shifted those electoral votes — along with 27 more — into the “solid Obama” column. Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin join Colorado as battleground states that could be out of reach for McCain, based on current polling that shows double-digit leads for Obama.
Leaning states are those those where either candidate has a lead within an aggregate of recent polls’ margins of error. Hotline counts 64 electoral votes leaning toward Obama and 34 leaning toward McCain.