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Study Notes

Swing State

Level:
A-Level
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 22 Mar 2021

A swing state, in Presidential races, is a state that does not have any overwhelming support for any candidate, therefore meaning the certainty of winning those Electoral College votes is small. As a result swing states are targeted by Presidential campaigns in a hope of securing those Electoral College votes.

States can be identified as swing states, if over successive Presidential elections they vote for different parties and the margins of victory tend to be rather small, typically in the single digits.

The Washington Post has outlined a total of nine true swing states, that when combined total 110 electoral votes. These states are:

  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Iowa
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Pennsylvania (Determined a Swing State by 270towin.com)

These states will be crucial to electing the President. For example where Romney to have won all those except Florida and Pennsylvania he would now be President of the United States.

For the coming 2016 election, it is these states that will be most interesting to watch to see which way they fall.

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