Every election cycle political strategists and media pundits talk at length about the so-called swing states that typically decide elections, with Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania being the most well-known.
In truth, those aren’t the only “battleground states” that can decide an election one way or the other, particularly in this cycle.
According to The Hill, there are actually 11 states that could plausibly swing the election in favor of one candidate over the other, and the fight in those states could very well remain undecided until late on election night.
Those 11 “purple states,” so called due to their roughly equal mix of red- and blue-aligned voters, included:
Colorado: This diverse state has trended blue in recent elections, largely due to a growing Hispanic population and an abundance of college students and graduates. Clinton holds a pretty hefty lead and stands a good chance of winning, but the state hasn’t been locked down in her column as of yet.
Florida: The sunshine state is the biggest prize of all the battleground states, as it is worth a whopping 29 votes in the all-important Electoral College. Virtually all of the polls in the state for some time have showed Clinton and Trump locked in a tie, with neither candidate able to gain an edge of greater than about 2 percentage points.
Iowa: The Hawkeye State has proven to be a surprise for many analysts, as it typically tends toward Democrats but has instead been leaning red as of late. Recent polls showed Trump with a 1 or 2 point lead over Clinton.
Michigan: This state would seemingly be tailor-made for Trump’s populist appeal to working-class voters, as trade, manufacturing, immigration and crime are all significant issues. That said, Clinton held a lead in the state of anywhere from 2 to 7 points, depending on the particular poll referenced.
Nevada: Despite a significant Hispanic population in the state, Trump has kept the state pretty competitive. Most polls showed the two candidates essentially tied, with Clinton holding no more than about a 2-point lead in some surveys.
New Hampshire: This perennially blue state doesn’t appear to be too much in danger of flipping over to red, as Clinton held a nearly 9-point lead in the latest poll. Nevertheless, there does seem to be enough support for Trump there to place this state in the “at-play” category for some analysts.
North Carolina: This southern state used to be predictably red, but that changed in 2008 with the election of President Barack Obama, largely due to the significant population of black voters. The state shifted back to red in 2012, and Trump and Clinton have been virtually tied there.
Ohio: This state appeared to be one of Trump’s best opportunities for picking off an important swing state. Though some polls showed Clinton with a slight lead over Trump, others placed Trump out in front. Current trends seemed to indicate that Trump’s message to blue-collar voters has played well, and could serve him equally well in a neighboring swing state.
Pennsylvania: Though most polls showed Clinton with a lead in the important state, Trump has spoken often of his intention to win it and has been closing the margin. As with other Rust Belt states where a loss of manufacturing has hurt working-class voters, Trump was hoping to appeal to enough voters in the suburbs and rural areas to carry the state on Election Day.
Virginia: What used to be a solidly red state has now become an at-best purple state, one that voted blue in the past two presidential elections. Thanks in part to a growing diverse population and the expansion of the Washington, D.C.-based government leviathan across the border, this state will be difficult to flip back red for Trump.
Wisconsin: This particular swing state has proven to be quite a surprise to many pundits, as it has been decidedly blue since President Ronald Reagan won there in 1984. Nevertheless, Trump’s message has played well among working-class white voters who make up the bulk of the voting base, and most polls showed the state essentially tied.
Any one of these states could ultimately determine the election in November. If you live in one of these states and are dead-set against a Hillary Clinton presidency, it is imperative that you and others get involved to do what is necessary to deliver these states into the red column come Election Day.
(via: Conservative Tribune)