First Read: New Hampshire, Trending Republican In 2012

The 2012 battle for the White House is likely to be a tight contest. With regard to the Granite State, it clearly depends on who the eventual GOP presidential nominee is next year. And a lot can change between now and Election Day 2012, but this is a positive sign for Republicans. The NBC  News Political Unit of Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Dominic Montanaro and Brooke Bower weigh in at First Read:

A year out from Election Day 2012, NBC’s battleground map shows that the presidential contest is shaping up to be VERY competitive and potentially VERY close; think 2004 meets 2000, with the 2008 states. According to the map, 196 electoral votes are in the Democratic column, while 195 are in the GOP column. And 147 electoral votes are considered a toss-up. The map also shows the toll the past summer took on President Obama: In April, it was 232 Dem, 191 GOP, with 115 toss-up. The big changes from April (and they’re all in the GOP’s direction): We moved Oregon from Likely Dem to Lean Dem; Michigan and Pennsylvania from Lean Dem to Toss-up; New Hampshire from Toss-up to Lean GOP; and Montana from Lean GOP to Likely GOP. A reminder: We do not always use just survey data to assess a state’s competitiveness; and we don’t always rely on publicly available data. The map, below, is based on our own reporting with input based on poll numbers we trust, some of those numbers are public but some are not.

Solid Dem (no chance at flip): DC, DE, HI, MD, MA, NY, RI, VT (67 electoral votes)
Likely Dem (takes a landslide to flip): CA, CT, IL, ME, WA (98)
Lean Dem: MN, NJ, OR (31)
Toss-up: CO, FL, IA, MI, NV, NM, NC, OH, PA, VA, WI (147)
Lean GOP: AZ, GA, MO, NE (one EV), NH (42)
Likely GOP (takes a landslide to flip): AL, AR, IN, LA, MS, MT, NE (four EVs), ND, SC, SD, TX (100)
Solid GOP (no chance at flip): AK, ID, KS, KY, OK, TN, UT, WV, WY (53)

*** This goes to 11: By the way, the 11 toss-up states fit nicely into three regions: the five in the Midwest/Rust Belt (IA, MI, OH, PA, WI), three in the New South (FL, NC, VA), and three in the West (CO, NV, NM).

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