### Yet another look at the battleground states

For the purposes of this diary, the battleground is defined as the thirteen states whose projected margin is within 6% according to today's 538.com figures.  Both major candidates have a 15-85% of carrying these states on Election Day.  The remaining 37 states (and D.C.) are solidly in either Obama's or McCain's camp at this time.

The figures following each state's name are its electoral vote, its margin in the 2000 election, its margin in the 2004 election, and its current margin according to 538.com.  In each case, positive numbers indicate a lead for the Democratic candidate and negative numbers indicate a lead for the Republican candidate.

Michigan (17) +5.13 +3.42 +5.3
Pennsylvania (21) +4.17 +2.50 +4.1
Virginia (13) -8.04 -8.20 +2.4
New Hampshire (4) -1.27 +1.37 +0.5
Ohio (20) -3.51 -2.11 +0.3
Florida (27) -0.01 -5.01 -1.0
Indiana (11) -15.63 -20.68 -1.4
North Carolina (15) -12.83 -12.43 -2.3
Missouri (11) -3.34 -7.20 -2.6
West Virginia (5) -6.32 -12.86 -5.0
Montana (3) -25.07 -20.50 -5.3

Note that traditional battleground states such as New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Minnesota are not listed, because Obama's lead exceeds 6% in each of them.  The battleground has shifted to include states that had been out of reach, such as Colorado, Virginia, Indiana, North Carolina, and Montana.

A total weighted margin for the thirteen states was calculated by multiplying each state's margin by its electoral vote (after subtracting 2 so that the figure equals the number of representatives each state sends to the House of Representatives; House representation is roughly proportional to population) summing the weighted margins, and dividing by 135, which was the sum of the (EV-2) values as described.

2000:  Weighted margin = -3.3

2004:  Weighted margin = -4.9

2008:  Weighted margin = +0.9

Within the thirteen-state battleground, Obama/Biden is outperforming Kerry/Edwards by 5.8% and outperforming Gore/Lieberman by 4.2%.