With three months until the election, Democratic Senator Barack Obama and Republican Senator John McCain have started to lay the groundwork for their respective strategies for the November presidential election and both have spoken of reshaping the electoral map. The first steps of their general election strategies have been implemented and based on where they are campaigning and advertising it becomes clear what states they believe will decide the election.
Barack Obama has outlined his electoral map strategy and identified 18 states that his campaign will target. Of the eighteen, four states were won by John Kerry in 2004 (Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Wisconsin) and fourteen of these states were won by George W. Bush in 2004 (Iowa, New Mexico, Ohio, Colorado, Virginia, Florida, Missouri, Nevada, Indiana, North Dakota, North Carolina, Montana, Georgia, and Alaska).
John McCain has also outlined his electoral map strategy, which is to hold the states that George Bush won in 2004 and go after a Washington, Oregon, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota which John Kerry won in 2004. McCain also lists several states that seem to be solidly in his column, including Arizona, Kentucky and West Virginia, but neglects to mention Virginia, which is now widely considered to be a swing state this year.
image from John McCain’s Strategy Briefing
More info on 2008 swing states: