With the 4 November US election just three weeks away, Senator John McCain’s Electoral College routes to the White House have narrowed.
Our Zogby International daily tracking polls now show Mr McCain consistently trailing Senator Barack Obama by a small margin in the popular vote.
The world knows from the 2000 election that a candidate can win the election with state-based Electoral College votes, while losing the popular vote.
President George W Bush trailed Al Gore by 0.5%, but surpassed the number of electoral votes needed by one.
In 2004, Mr Bush won the popular vote over Senator John Kerry, 50.7%-48.3%, and the electoral vote, 286-251. With 538 in total, it takes 270 to win.
We could see another such photo finish this year, but only if Mr McCain rebounds. For him to win, he could hold on to all of the states President Bush took in 2004, or wrest some of the Kerry states away from Obama. Here are the possible scenarios.
Holding the Bush States
One of the states President Bush won in 2004, Iowa (7 electoral votes), is now considered safely in the Obama column. That drops the 2004 Republican advantage to 21 electoral votes.