Demographic shifts have nudged traditionally Republican Colorado and Virginia onto the map, with the campaigns planning plenty of appearances in both states. But a look at the 11 states in 2004 that were decided by a margin of victory of fewer than 6 points provides a basis for assessing 2008. Of those 11 states, Democratic nominee John Kerry won six: New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Oregon. President Bush won New Mexico, Nevada, Iowa, Florida, and Ohio.
In 2008, Oregon is on no one’s list of battlegrounds, and is expected to go for Obama. Of the others, pundits disagree on the degree to which various states are in play. Michigan, for one, with its deeply struggling economy, should be in the Democrats’ back pocket, but Senator McCain has played well there in the past. Same goes for Pennsylvania.