* WGOG’s weekly electoral college projection is out and it’s the first to project an electoral majority for President Barack Obama, according to the latest state-by-state polls. According to the latest map, Obama has 275 votes to Mitt Romney’s 191 (270 are needed to win.) The following states are still up for grabs: Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, Iowa, and Colorado. One big gain for Obama from last week’s map is Ohio, which entered the President’s column this week. The caveat to all this is tonight’s first debate in Denver and whether it will change the composition of the map by the time the next projection comes out next Wednesday. You can the view the latest map here.
*NBC News: After a slew of new NBC/WSJ polls released over the past day, here’s where the presidential contest stands right before tonight’s first debate: President Obama holds a narrow and tightening national lead over Mitt Romney among likely voters, 49%-46%. It’s also narrow and tight in the battleground states of Florida (Obama 47%, Romney 46%) and Virginia (Obama 48%, Romney 46%). But in the battleground of Ohio, the president enjoys a substantial advantage, 51%-43%. So Romney is both so close and yet so far away. It’s extremely difficult — though not impossible — for Romney to get to 270 electoral votes without Ohio.
*If you’re planning on watching tonight’s debate: Each candidate will stand at podiums and gets two minutes to answer an opening question but the rest of the debate is controlled by the moderator, Jim Lehrer of PBS. The debate will begin at 9:00 PM (ET) and runs 90 minutes. If you want to see how Lehrer will approach tonight’s debate, Taegan Goddard recommends his book, Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates.