An analysis of the state-by-state race to 270 electoral votes, the total needed to win the presidency, and where Democratic President Barack Obama and probable Republican nominee Mitt Romney stand now. The numbers 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 (61):
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, won the GOP primary but his opposition to the 2008 auto bailout will hurt him.
Minnesota (10) — Low unemployment and a long streak of Democrats carrying Minnesota give Obama confidence. But Minnesota was competitive in 2000 and 2004, and includes a length of the Mississippi River Valley, among the Midwest’s most pivotal swing regions.
New Mexico (5) — Gave narrow victories to Democrat Al Gore in 2000 and Republican George W. Bush in 2004, and an influx of Hispanic and younger voters now moves this state toward Obama’s column. No advertising yet from Obama, Romney or any super political action committees.
Pennsylvania (20) — Pennsylvania has tipped Democrat in the final month in recent presidential races. Romney has continued campaigning in the state, but a nearly 1 million Democratic edge in voter registration makes the state a reach for the GOP.
Wisconsin (10) — Embattled Gov. Scott Walker’s improving chances of winning a June 5 recall election helps Romney better compete in Wisconsin, where Ronald Reagan was the last Republican presidential candidate to win. Romney aides say Wisconsin leaps ahead of Michigan in priorities if Walker prevails.
UP FOR GRABS (85):
Colorado (9) — Long a reliable GOP state, but Colorado’s conservative profile is changing. Young professionals and Hispanic voters were central to Obama’s victory in 2008, but the sluggish economy has hurt his standing. Female voters in Denver’s suburbs could play a big role.
Florida (29) — Florida is the prime target for both campaigns. Obama won in 2008, but the housing crisis, high unemployment and gas prices are dogging him. Romney won the primary in January and has picked up the endorsement of GOP Sen. Marco Rubio. Obama’s organization has a large advantage.
Iowa (6) — An important Bush-state pick-up for Obama in 2008. Iowa has been a national popular-vote bellwether for 20 years. Obama’s attention in the state where his caucus victory launched him in 2008 is countered by Romney’s two caucus campaigns. Conservatives are wary of Romney’s Mormon faith and social issues profile, but he’s got GOP Gov. Terry Branstad on his side.
Nevada (6) — One of three Southwestern states Obama flipped in 2008. Nevada is also the prime example of the economy’s struggles. Unemployment was 12.3 percent in February, a point Romney will press. There’s a strong labor and Hispanic vote, a plus for Obama. A higher Mormon population helps Romney.
New Hampshire (4) — Romney has a vacation home in New Hampshire, which is next to Massachusetts, where Romney was governor. He won the 2012 primary big, but Obama peeled off this Bush state in 2008 and has worked hard to keep it. Vice President Joe Biden visited Friday. But the GOP is back in power in the Legislature, and freshman Sen. Kelly Ayotte is seen as asset for Romney.
Ohio (18) — This Midwestern state has been a general election bellwether since 1980. Romney won the 2012 primary and has support from establishment figures such as Sen. Rob Portman. Obama has the organizing advantage, although the economy remains a sticking point, especially in the industrial northwest.
Virginia (13) — Long a GOP bastion, Obama carried Virginia in 2008 by turning out young and minority voters. An influx of under-35 crowd, especially from the Washington area, has continued. But Republicans roared back in 2010, ending consecutive Democratic administrations in governorship by electing up-and-comer Bob McDonnell.
LEANING REPUBLICAN (47):
Arizona (11) — 2008 GOP nominee John McCain’s single-digit victory in his home state, and Hispanic and young voter boom, give Obama hope that Arizona is trending as others in the Southwest. But Romney won big in February’s primary, helped by the support of GOP Gov. Jan Brewer, in a state where Republicans and the tea party are in charge.
Indiana (11) — Obama broke a 44-year GOP trend in 2008 by winning Indiana, albeit by a single percentage point. Unemployment is high and the tea party is a new factor, both working against Obama.
Missouri (10) — Democrats have contested Missouri in the past three elections, only to lose each time. Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill is in a tough re-election fight, and Obama’s approval has dipped below 40 percent.
North Carolina (15) — Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue’s decision not to seek a second term this year, union anger about the Democratic National Convention in this weak union state, plus Obama’s support for gay marriage, rejected in a May 8 referendum, are warnings that a repeat for Obama will be tougher.
SOLIDLY REPUBLICAN (159): Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
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