Any American political strategist or reporter -- I've been one for more than four decades -- loves the map: That's the electoral map that decides the presidential election every four years.
Each of the 50 states is awarded electors based on its members of Congress, essentially by population; Washington, D.C., for example, gets three votes. In almost all states it's a winner-take-all system; there are 538 votes nationally, it takes 270 to win.
For about two thirds of the states, including the biggest, California and Texas, the outcome is a near-certainty. Thus the battle is over no more than 15 states with fewer than 200 electoral votes.
That's what makes it fun, or serious, if you're a campaign manager trying to figure out who will take Florida's 29 votes or Ohio's 18, North Carolina's 15 or even Iowa's 6.
Usually, the drama is exaggerated. The map follows the votes. Thus it only matters in a close contest, say within a two-point margin.