Ron Fournier of AP analyzes the battleground states. "Sixteen days before Election Day, the president needs to scrape together at least 48 of the remaining 99 votes from tossup states to win re-election. Kerry needs 53 to stop him.
The AP analyzed poll data, both public and private, and interviewed analysts in key states in the days since the final debate Wednesday. While public and private polls suggested Bush may be gaining ground on Kerry, the consensus was that the race was remarkably close going into the last two full weeks of campaigning.
A surge by either candidate - 3 or 4 percentage points in national polls - could shift the eight states and the 99 electoral votes to one candidate, putting him on course for a 300-plus electoral romp.
That would put other states on the bubble - Democratic-leaning Minnesota, Michigan, Maine and perhaps even New Jersey if Bush takes off; and GOP-leaning Colorado, West Virginia and Arizona if Kerry gains steam."