Washington (CNN) - With just over five months to go until the November election, a new CNN Electoral Map indicates a tight battle between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney for the 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House.
According to the CNN map unveiled Monday, the president leads Romney in 19 states and the District of Columbia, which if he carried those in the general election would give him 247 electoral votes. Romney, the unofficial GOP presidential nominee pending the party's convention, leads in 24 states, which would give him 206 electoral votes.
The map currently indicates that seven states are true toss-ups at the moment. Those states are Colorado (9 electoral votes), Florida (29), Iowa (6), Nevada (6), New Hampshire (4), Ohio (18) and Virginia (13). Eighty-five electoral votes are up for grabs in those seven states.
Four states currently lean towards Obama: Michigan (16), New Mexico (5), Pennsylvania (20) and Wisconsin (10). Four states currently lean towards Romney: Arizona (11), Indiana (11), Missouri (10), and North Carolina (15).
"The 2012 presidential election likely will be decided by these 15 key states, worth a total of 183 electoral votes," CNN Political Research Director Robert Yoon says. "Determining what qualifies as a battleground state is not an exact science, but it's a rough mix of several criteria, including polling, past election results, the state's political, demographic, and economic trends; whether the campaigns and parties will devote resources to the state, such as ad spending, candidate visits, field offices, and staff, and the presence of other high-profile races on the ballot. CNN's Electoral Map will take into account all these factors, as well as its own reporting and analysis."
Both the Obama and Romney campaigns are spending big bucks to put up TV commercials many of these states, with independent groups also pouring in money to run ads. Both the president and Romney have made campaign stops in many of these states, and both camps are increasing their troops there as well.
– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.