http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1008/14226.html McCain's fate hangs on three states By: Mike Allen October 2, 2008 11:48 PM EST ST. LOUIS — Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) now must win Pennsylvania, Wisconsin or Minnesota in order to get enough electoral votes to win the presidency, his campaign says. Those were considered swing states in 2000 and 2004, but George W. Bush lost them both times. “Our ability to pick off one of those three states is where our fortunes are largely held,” a McCain official said. “These are states where Barack Obama is on the defense.” McCain's political director, Mike DuHaime, told reporters on a conference call three hours before debate time that the campaign plans an "aggressive" front in Maine, a solidly Democratic state that gets virtually no attention in presidential races. The sudden attention to Maine, which is getting some of the staff McCain is moving out of Michigan, reflects what a squeaker McCain expects. Maine is not a winner-take-all state (the only other one that splits its electoral vote is Nebraska). And McCain aides, perhaps optimistically, are suggesting he can win one electoral vote by picking up one of the Pine Tree State’s two congressional districts. The Maine congressional district McCain is eying is the larger, northern one, the 2nd District, which covers most of the state and is held by Democratic Rep. Michael H. Michaud. McCain has very limited ways to win, with no room for error. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) still has many routes to the White House and so can afford to campaign on a much broader playing field. McCain aides discussed their tough new map math after Politico’s Jonathan Martin reported, and McCain aides subsequently confirmed that he is giving up on Michigan, withdrawing staff and advertising. “We felt like being able to play in Michigan up to this point was an offensive move,” a McCain aide said. “As we close down into Election Day, our map is going to become more targeted. McCain figures that winning one of those three big remaining swing states, plus those he considers safe, would put him 10 shy of the 270 electoral votes he needs to win. “We can dig up an additional 10 electoral votes in Nevada, Colorado and New Hampshire,” the official said. Recent polls have showed Obama running strong in some states Bush won in 2004. But the McCain official said the campaign is confident: “We feel strongly that we’re going to win in Florida, Missouri and the traditional Republican states of Virginia and North Carolina.” One McCain official acknowledged that the campaign is feeling the pressure from the better-funded Obama. "He has an extraordinary amount of resources," the official said.