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Presidential Battleground States 2024

Presidential Battleground States 2024

In American politics, battleground states, also known as swing states, are states in which no candidate has overwhelming support. This means that a battleground state could reasonably be won either the Democratic or Republic presidential candidate by a swing in votes. On the other hand, states that regularly lean to a single party and are generally assumed to vote for that party’s candidate are known as safe states. Battleground states play a major role in competitive elections and are highly targeted by candidates.

In presidential elections, each state is free to decide the method by which its electors will be chosen for the Electoral College. To increase their voting power in the College, almost every state has adopted a winner-take-all system. This means that the candidate who wins the most popular votes in a state wins all of that state’s electoral votes. The only states who have not adopted the winner-take-all system are Maine and Nebraska. Due to the winner-take-all style of the Electoral College, candidates will often only campaign in competitive states in order to earn the electoral votes.

Some states are consistently battleground states. According to the election analytics website FiveThirtyEight Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wisconsin are perennial swing states. These states have had historically close elections over the last few presidential elections.

Importance of Battleground States

One example of a swing state having a major influence in a presidential election was seen in the 2000 election. The 2000 presidential election was a contest between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore. On November 7, 2000, election night, there was no clear winner. In Florida, a swing state, fewer than 600 popular votes separated Bush and Gore. Florida law required a recount of votes and Florida’s Secretary of State Katherine Harris certified that Bush has won the election by a 537-vote margin. The winner of Florida would determine the winner of the entire election, so a long month of legal battles ensued until a Supreme Court decision declared Bush the winner of Florida and, therefore, of the presidential election.

The 2020 battleground states according to Ballotpedia were Arizona, Floria, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin. Other predictions for the 2020 battleground states had laid out the same 10 states where the margin of victory for Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton in 2016 was less than 2%. These states were: Arizona, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Of these states, Donald Trump won five: Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, and Texas, giving him 106 electoral votes. Joe Biden won the remaining eight: Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin for a total of 93 electoral votes.

Presidential Battleground States 2024

- 2020's "Big Five" swing states were Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
- Swing states change over time. For example, Ohio and Colorado were long considered swing states, but have become reliably red (Ohio) or blue (Colorado) in recent elections. Meanwhile, Georgia and Arizona have become battleground states. As such, the swing states of 2024 may differ from the swing states of 2020, 2016, and earlier.

Presidential Battleground States 2024