Washington, Sept.10 : Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama is scaling down his expectations and concentrating more of his resources on winning the vote in the traditional swing states, and ultimately winning what is being predicted as a "close race" for the White House. According to The Telegraph, the Obama campaign is targeting Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico, which are seen as key battleground states. In a briefing journalists this week, David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager, made clear that his initial prediction of 18 "swing" states being within Obama's reach was wildly optimistic.
"When you look at the battleground states that will determine the presidency, we feel very good about where we are," said Plouffe.
"From a state by state perspective we'd much rather be us then John McCain," he added.
Advertising dollars are now being spent on just seven swing or "purple" states.
The newest swing state is Virginia, Republican in presidential races since 1964, is now potentially within Obama's reach because of the increasingly affluent northern Virginia suburbs of Washington DC.
This week, Obama stopped advertising in Georgia, having already scaled back on spending in the traditionally "red" - Republican - states of Alaska, Montana, North Carolina and North Dakota.
The paper quoted Michael Barone, editor of the Almanac of American Politics, as saying that: "It's a different shaped battle field and somewhat expanded."
The most striking new dynamic is the contrast between young voters, who overwhelmingly back Obama, 47, and older voters, who are going for McCain, 72.
With McCain taking a narrow lead in national polls this week for the first time in this White House race, 2008 looks more and more likely to be as tight as the last two contests.
In 2004, George W. Bush won thanks to 118,457 votes in Ohio while four years earlier, he prevailed courtesy of 537 votes in Florida and a margin of five to four in the US Supreme Court.
"This is going to be a close election. These are all going to be races that get decided from somewhere between one and six points," Plouffe said.
The Obama camp is targeting 264 of the 270 electoral college votes needed for victory. The remaining six, Plouffe said, could come from Colorado, Nevada, Indiana, Florida, Virginia, or Nebraska.