The presidency rests not on the national popular vote but on 538 Electoral College votes, allotted almost exclusively in winner-take-all fashion by state.*
An NPR analysis using history and polls indicates how 42 states and the District of Columbia are expected to vote. That leaves only eight "tossups" where the race is too close to call, but where the election will likely be decided.
NPR puts 21 states and their 237 electoral votes firmly or leaning to President Obama. Republican Mitt Romney starts with 27 states and 206 assumed electoral votes. (See the full list.) We've prefilled those projections below, leaving 95 electoral votes up for grabs.
Click a tossup state under a candidate’s name to see what it means for his chances of winning. The candidate who secures 270 electoral votes becomes president. (Last updated on Oct. 23, 2012.)