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Washington Matters

Obama Extends Electoral Vote Edge

Events of the past week have all worked in Barack Obama's favor, helping him to increase his lead over John McCain in our revised Electoral map. With five weeks to go before the election, obviously a lot can change, but Obama now leads in states that command 259 electoral votes. If that holds, he'll need just 11 more from the nine states with 116 electoral votes that we rate as toss-ups. 

Obama has made big enough gains in Colorado and Michigan so that we now rate them as leaning toward the Democratic nominee. At the same time, three states -- Indiana, Missouri and North Carolina -- that were leaning to John McCain are now rated toss-ups. The financial crisis, McCain's response to it, the first presidential debate and heightened criticism of GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin by conservatives all contributed to Obama's gains.

The map represents the best judgment at this time by Kiplinger editors, based on poll results and reporting from the field.