In US presidential politics, a swing state or battleground state refers to a state that could be won by either party candidate. The state has no single candidate or party that has overwhelming support in securing a state’s Electoral College votes. Usually they require extra effort by candidates and their campaigns especially in those states deemed important in securing the presidency.
Some states are traditionally vote either republican or democrat. In fact 33 states out of 50 have voted for the same party in the past 5 presidential elections, and 40 have voted for the same party since 2000. Democrat strong states tend to be in the North East of the US as well as states such as California. Whilst the majority of Republican support comes from States in the Deep South and mid-west.
In the 2016 election, there have been around 11 swing states that will have a major impact upon the outcome of the election, determining how many Electoral College votes a candidate gets and if they can get that important 270 Electoral College majority.
Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin are all considered swing states in the 2016 Presidential election.
Some key states to look out for:
Total of 20 electoral votes.
The state has voted Democrat in the past 6 elections, however Trump has been campaigning hard in order to electrify the Republican parts of Pennsylvania.
Clinton is focusing upon the more urban parts of the state, such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, these tend to have a high African American population more likely to vote Democrat, and their push is getting people to the polls.
In reality it is looking very likely that Pennsylvania will go to Hilary Clinton.
Total of 18 electoral votes.
Polling suggest that this rust belt state (part of a country experiencing a declining industry and population) will go to Trump. He very much needs Ohio to give him a chance to win. The economy is a big issue in this state, and Trump has been pushing this issue when campaigning.
Total of 29 electoral votes.
This is the ultimate battleground, with the ability to decide the outcome of the election, as it did between Bush vs. Gore. Currently both candidates are very close in the polls. Hilary is being massively helped by the large amount of Latino voters who cast their vote in early voting. Candidates have spent millions and hours campaigning here.
Total of 11 electoral votes.
Trump is currently leading in polls, however Clinton is very much relaying upon the increased number of Hispanic voter registrations and the second-highest Native American population in the US to tip her over the edge.
Total of 15 electoral votes.
Historically a republican state, but has become an important state after they voted for Obama in 2008 but swung back to the GOP in 2012.
Once again polls show that it is a very close election. Clinton is relying upon college educated voters as well as the large African American demographic who make up around 23% of the population. Trump focused on rural areas that were impacted by industry and manufacturing losses.