Do you live in a 2020 swing state? Find out.
Whenever a presidential election approaches on the calendar, there’s much discussion of swing states–states that seem like they could tilt toward either the Democratic candidate or the Republican, and which should prove critical to a victory in the Electoral College. [A candidate has to rack up a minimum of 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency. As of December 2019, the Electoral College consisted of 538 votes.]
Things have gotten ever more polarized over the years, which means the number of legitimate swing states has shrunk. But until we get rid of the Electoral College, swing states will exist, and they will matter more to the candidates than will states that are firmly red or blue.
In an August 2019 guest column for Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball, Alfred J. Tuchfarber identified six 2020 swing states:
If you live in or near one of these states, it’s a good idea to pay closer attention and devote time and money to bringing about the result that you want to see.
In particular, you will want to stay on top of threats to the integrity of the voter rolls–attempts to restrict or suppress residents’ ability to cast a ballot–and you will want to do what you can to fight back.
And though Trump is notably weak on a national level, he might show stronger-than-expected poll numbers in specific states. For example, an early November 2019 CNBC piece shows Trump trailing Joe Biden in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Wisconsin, but faring better against Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. [Important note: the polls discussed took place weeks before the House of Representatives wrote and voted on articles of impeachment against Trump.]
A looser definition seems to apply to “battleground” states–those regarded as less important to the overall Electoral College count, but which could be in play in the next presidential election.
If you live in or near these five states, you’ll want to keep an eye on things here as well. That said, if you need to budget your attention, favor the swing states over the battleground states. The six swing states merit mention in both the Sabato and the Goddard articles.
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