A dozen media outlets still yield 10 different battleground state maps less than a week from Election Day, with an average of nine states and 114 electoral votes hanging in the balance

floridaseal10.jpgAs the calendar turns to November with the presidential race still in flux, media outlet battleground state maps have changed again one last time.

In a cycle in which various pundits are alternately characterizing the state of the Romney-Obama contest as a tie, advantage Obama, and advantage Romney, it is no wonder so many states are deemed toss-ups this late in the cycle.

And what do the maps look like today?

A Smart Politics analysis of major media outlet horserace coverage finds that six have changed their battleground state maps since mid-October – removing eight states collectively and adding seven more back in – with four states appearing on all 12 maps: Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, and Virginia.

(The 12 news outlets under analysis are ABC, CNN, Huffington Post, MSNBC, National Journal, New York Times, PBS, POLITICO, Real Clear Politics, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post).

Overall, an average of nine states totaling 113.9 Electoral College votes populate the dozen battleground state maps – down slightly from 116.5 votes in October and 119.6 votes in September but up slightly from 111.8 in August.

Two states have remained on the battleground maps across all 12 outlets over the last four months: Florida and Virginia.

Back in August, Florida and Virginia were the only agreed upon battleground states by the dozen outlets under analysis.

In September, that number increased to five (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia), falling to three in October (Colorado, Florida, Virginia), and then climbing to four in November (Colorado, Florida, New Hampshire, Virginia).

Only two pairs of outlets currently share the same map:

· ABC and CNN agree there are eight toss-up states totaling 95 electoral votes (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin).

· Real Clear Politics and the Wall Street Journal are in agreement that there are 11 battlegrounds totaling 146 electoral votes (Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin).

And as for the all-important State of Ohio?

All but one of the media outlets under analysis rate it as a toss up, with the Washington Post rating the Buckeye State as “leaning Obama.”

Iowa is also listed by 11 outlets followed by Wisconsin and Nevada at 10, North Carolina at six, Michigan and Pennsylvania at four, New Mexico at two, and Arizona, Indiana, Minnesota, and Missouri at one.

Since three weeks ago, six of the media outlets have tinkered with the number of battleground states on their maps:

· ABC News dropped Michigan from the battleground ranks to “solid Democrat,” Pennsylvania to “lean Democrat,” and North Carolina to “lean Republican.”

· CNN moved North Carolina to “leaning Romney.”

· Huffington Post added Iowa and New Hampshire as “tossups.”

· New York Times shifted Nevada to “leaning Democratic” and North Carolina to “leaning Republican.”

· Real Clear Politics moved Missouri to “likely Romney” and Michigan to “toss up.”

· Wall Street Journal changed Missouri to “solid Romney” and Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to “swing.”

Despite these changes, there are still 10 different battleground state maps among the 12 media outlets, as there were in mid-October.

Battleground States by Media Outlet in 2012 Presidential Electoral Projection Maps

State
ABC
CNN
HP
MSNBC
NJ
NYT
PBS
Politico
RCP
USA Today
WP
WSJ
Total
AZ
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
CO
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
12
FL
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
12
IA
X
X
X
 
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
11
IN
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
MI
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
X
X
 
X
4
MN
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
MO
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
NC
 
 
 
X
X
 
 
X
X
X
 
X
6
NH
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
12
NM
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
2
NV
X
X
 
X
X
 
X
X
X
X
X
X
10
OH
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
 
X
11
PA
 
 
 
 
X
 
 
 
X
X
 
X
4
VA
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
12
WI
X
X
 
X
X
X
 
X
X
X
X
X
10
EV
95
95
79
104
193
89
85
110
146
148
77
146
113.9
# States
8
8
6
8
16
7
7
9
11
12
7
11
110

Maps coded on October 31, 2012. Media outlets under analysis are ABC News, CNN, Huffington Post, MSNBC, National Journal, New York Times, PBS, POLITICO, Real Clear Politics, USA Today, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal. Table compiled by Smart Politics.

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