The general dynamic, I think, is that Bush needs to defend many fronts — Nevada, Arizona, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia, Florida, New Hampshire (82 electoral votes) — while Kerry really only needs to play defense in Iowa and Wisonsin (17 electoral votes). What could change this dynamic is if the Nader campaign picks up steam and re-produces the artificially close results we saw last time in Maine and the Pacific Northwest.
The current numbers:
According to my handy-dandy calculator, this means 289 Kerry, 232 Bush, and 17 undecided right now. The “barely” states are all within the margin of polling error, so rather dubious to include into the calculation, but there’s no really good way to do it otherwise at the moment.
Like Matt, I’m rather confident that Tennessee’s 11 EV’s will ultimately go to Bush, notwithstanding the fact that they’re currently in the “barely Kerry” column. That would switch the decideds to 278-243. Arizona’s 10, Missouri’s 11, and West Virginia’s 5 will almost certainly go to Bush, shifting it to 252-269. Since 270 is the magic number, Bush is in decent shape, considering his convention is yet to come while Kerry’s has come and gone without a measurable “bounce.”
Still, I agree with Matt: the math favors Kerry. Ohio’s 20 and Florida’s 27 EVs are in the “weak Bush” category. Bush won both states in 2000, Ohio closely and Florida by a whisker. He needs to hold both–or pick off Pennsylvania–to stave off Kerry. If Bush takes all three states, which is not out of the realm of possibility, he’ll win easily. But just a little bad news at the wrong time, or a poor performance in the debates, could just as easily cause him to lose all three.