Election Question Re States?

Why are some states called Battleground states and some are called SWING states. Why aren"t all states the same??? Just curious.

1 Answer

  • 8 years ago
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    First you have to understand that people don't directly elect the president. The electoral college does. Each state has a certain number of electoral college votes. You can look at the any political map to find out how many votes each state has. Most states award 100% of their electoral college votes to the candidate who gets a simple majority of the votes. A few states use a proportional system. So if a state had a 60-40 split, then the votes are split that way as well.

    It is possible to win the popular vote, and still lose the election due to the electoral college.

    Most states tend to vote strongly democrat or republican. California for instance goes strongly democrat, while Texas goes strongly republican. So most of these results can be predicted. As you might expect, not much time is spent in these states, other than fund raising.

    However in some states, the race is sorta close. Maybe a state voted democrat last election but now is leaning republican (it's going to "swing" from one side to the other.)

    Other states are locked in a dead heat. No predictions are possible, yet their electoral college votes could mean the difference between a victory or defeat for a candidate.

    Now that you understand the election system you can see why the candidates have spent most of their time trying to get these swing states and battlefield states to come to their side.

    Historically, no republican candidate has become the president without winning Ohio, and the last democrat to win without winning Ohio was JFK. As a result, Ohio is considered a very important state, both for its relatively high number of electoral college votes, and also as a good indicator of how the election is going to turn out overall.

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