Barack Obama seems extremely likely to win the entire Northeast from Maine to Maryland and Washington, DC in 2012, with possibly New Hampshire and Pennsylvania as exceptions. So that would be 112 electoral votes, or without Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, 88 electoral votes.
He is expected also to win the Pacific Coast states of California, Oregon and Washington as well, which would mean 74 electoral votes.
In the Midwest, Illinois is a certainty, and the upper Midwest seems strongly Democratic too, including Michigan, WIsconsin, and Minnesota, which means these four states are together a total of 56 electoral votes.
So far, that adds up to 218 electoral votes, without New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, and with them, it is 242, 28 short of the number needed, 270 electoral votes, to win the Presidency.
So what is needed to guarantee an Obama victory?
1, The state of Florida with 29 electoral votes would put Obama over the top with all of the above states, and add Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado, all with growing Hispanic and Latino populations, and supportive of Obama the last time, and you get 26 electoral votes, to replace a possible loss of New Hampshire and Pennsylvania.
2. Another scenario is to win Ohio and Missouri, the two states most representative of the winning Presidential candidates, with Ohio being with the GOP nominee every time he has won in US History, and Missouri wrong only twice on the Presidential winner since 1900–1956 and 2008–with their combined 28 replacing Florida or Iowa and the three Southwestern states.
3. Another strategy is to try to win in Georgia and Arizona, along with Missouri, three states won by John McCain in 2008, but all susceptible to moving to Obama with growing Hispanic and Latino populations. This way one gains 37 electoral votes, replacing either Florida OR Iowa and the three Southwestern states.
4. Also, if Obama wins Virginia and North Carolina, he wins 28 electoral votes and does not need Florida, OR Ohio and Missouri, OR Iowa, New Mexico, Nevada and Colorado!
The point is that Obama has many scenarios to win, and it is very hard to imagine that all of the above combinations of states will go to a Republican party as right wing and divided as it now is, demonstrated even more by the debacle over the middle class tax cut continuation, leading to a split between Republicans in the Senate and the House of Representatives.
So Obama supporters need to work hard, but the future looks bright!