New York, Oct 27 : With nine days to go until the election, Republican presidential candidate John McCain's electoral map is in tatters and he is facing an uphill task to emerge victorious in the White House race.
In order to have a chance of winning the Electoral College, McCain will need to close the popular vote gap by at least 6-7 points nationally.
Latest estimates at FiveThirtyEight.com give McCain only about a five percent chance of pulling out a victory.
If McCain is able to close this gap somehow, however, the electoral map will look quite a bit different - and quite a bit more favorable to him, the paper said.
Essentially, McCain needs to subtract six points from Obama's margins in every state, and proceed from the assumption that this is what the map will look like on Election Day.
If he is able to make that leap of faith, McCain will find it easier to pick his battles, focusing his efforts on no more than six or seven states.
Obama presently holds leads of five or more points in 23 states containing 286 electoral votes - 16 more than he needs to clinch the Electoral College, Pollster.com reported.
Obama holds smaller leads, moreover, in another seven states containing 92 electoral votes, including places as far a field as North Dakota. Obama has even led some recent polling in Georgia, West Virginia, and Montana.
This situation is a reflection of the failures of McCain's strategy. During the summer, he poured millions of dollars into attack advertising rather than building up the sort of robust ground operation that won George W. Bush the presidency in 2000 and 2004.
He underestimated the threat in Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana until it was too late. And now, he and Sarah Palin are jetting all around the country like chickens with their heads cut off - falling into exactly the trap that the Obama campaign set for them, The New York Post has said.