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Could Electoral College Calculus Give Obama An Edge?

Now that President Obama and GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney are pivoting to the general election, campaign watchers are handicapping the race that counts this fall — the Electoral College.

And right now, the Electoral College map is looking better for the president than the (generally very close) national polls, says NPR's senior Washington editor, Ron Elving.

Obama "needs far less from the tossup states to get to 270, which is the magic number that represents the majority in the Electoral College," Ron tells Robert Siegel on Wednesday's All Things Considered.

That's because "the states where Obama is winning or likely to win" — based on past voting patterns and statewide polling — "have more people and, therefore, more votes in the Electoral College than the states where Romney is currently winning or expected to win," Ron says.

Based on those projections, the Romney campaign would need to win more of the tossup states to get to the "magic number." "What they need to do is take back some of the states that Obama captured in 2008 — states that had voted not once but twice for George W. Bush and then switched," Ron says.

To get Ron's analysis — and find out why he calls Florida "the fulcrum" — take a look at his post for It's All Politics last week.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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