That’s the number of electoral votes in states that President Barack Obama or Arizona Senator John McCain carried by a margin of more than 10 percentage points in the 2008 presidential election, adjusted to reflect new electoral vote allocations after the 2010 Census.
Obama won 20 states and the District of Columbia by more than 10 points, while McCain carried 15 states by a double-digit margin. McCain’s states include Nebraska, where Obama won one of five electoral votes under the state’s unusual system of allocating its votes by congressional district.
The 21 jurisdictions Obama won by at least 10 points will have a total of 253 electoral votes in this year’s election, down from 258 in the 2008 election and 17 less than the 270 needed to win a presidential election. The 15 states McCain won by more than 10 points have 125 electoral votes, up from 121 four years ago.
The president probably will win most if not all of the states he won by 10 points or more in the 2008 election, though his re-election campaign has aired ads in four of those states — Pennsylvania (20 electoral votes), Michigan (16), Wisconsin (10), and Nevada (6 electoral votes), a sign that Obama will have a more difficult time winning there this year.