As the networks declare winners in the early states on Tuesday night, this map will project the winner in states where polls show that candidate has a more comfortable lead. For example, if Obama wins Virginia, where he has a six-point lead in the polls, this map will assume he wins states where his margin is at least two points wider than that. Meanwhile, if McCain wins Indiana—where he’s currently up by one point—this map will assume that he wins states where he’s up by at least three points.
As more results trickle in, we’ll make note of whether the states obeyed this ordered logic. It may be that polling was more accurate in some places than others, at which point some of the imputations will be wrong. If the polling is roughly on track, the first few states should be a good bellwether for who takes the cake at the end of the night.