The first edition of this new series can be found here. The tally was Obama 283, McCain 255. The states are granted to whichever candidate has the lead in the Pollster.com poll aggregates. (When there isn't enough polls in a state for there to be an aggregate number, I tally all polls after tossing anything from February and before.)
For this edition, the tally is Obama 289, McCain 249.
Compared to three weeks ago, Virginia and New Hampshire are now Obama states, while Indiana has reverted to the more logical Red. There was a day last week when Obama actually held a slight edge in Florida, but that was eliminated by the latest Rasmussen poll (and its 8-point McCain lead).
The only Kerry state still in McCain's hands is Michigan. The only Michigan poll this month was a Rasmussen effort that gave Obama a 45-42 lead. McCain still holds the composite score lead on the strength of some dated May numbers. Hopefully we'll be able to switch out Michigan's colors soon. And in Missouri, McCain has the narrowest of leads, just 0.5%. Like the 2006 Senate race, the show-me-state will likely go down to the wire.
Meanwhile, let's look at the states I consider battlegrounds -- that is, states in which the candidates poll within single digits (again, in the composite score).
I have removed Nebraska from contention. One or two of its EVs are in play (the state, like Maine, apportions one EV per congressional district), but for these purposes, until polling shows cleaner splits per CD, I'll stick with the statewide numbers. New Hampshire changed from a lean McCain battleground state, to a safe Obama state. Massachusetts was previously yellow thanks to some inexplicably close polling, but post-primary, that's pretty much history. Obama now leads the Bay State comfortably. West Virginia is now yellow thanks to a single recent Rasmussen poll. Finally, Georgia has now edged in, just barely, into single digits. Now that Obama is flooding the state with staff and ads, maybe it'll even stay yellow!
A couple of other states just barely missed inclusion. McCain leads Obama 48.9-38.3 in Kansas, just 0.7 percent away from single digits. Mississippi hasn't had a lot of polling, but throw away its February poll, and it's McCain by 52-41.5. Louisiana's lone recent poll gives McCain a 50-41 lead, but March polling is keeping the composite score in double digits.
As for Obama states, Minnesota is 50.3-40.3, just one tenth of a percent away from turning yellow, and Oregon is 48.7-38.0. So as much yellow as we see on that map, there are five more states (three McCain, two Obama) which are a razor's edge away from closing to "yellow" battlegrounds status for the purposes of this map.
Astonishingly, that means that fully half the nation is in play or potentially in play.
What's neat about this election is that while the West Coast is solidly Blue this year, the entire East Coast is now in play. Heck, if it wasn't for that 45-mile sliver in Idaho, all of the Canadian border states would be in play.
Update: As pointed out in the comments, some of those Canadian and East Coast states are not "in play" -- they are solidly Blue. What I meant to say is that they're all either safely Democratic, or in play for Democrats.