Swing States Update

By Rosanna Cole and Helena Viegas Araujo

At this late stage in the elections, swing states are as important as ever to determine the outcome of who will be America’s new President. The eleven key states below have all been labelled as ‘toss up’ states, with no significant majority swinging either way.

During the last election, in 2008, President Barack Obama secured all eleven states, but this election has proven to be more competitive for the incumbent President, with candidate Mitt Romney currently holding the lead in RCP polls to one of the major states: Florida.

To win the electoral votes, candidates need a majority of 270. States hold a number of electoral votes based on the population in the state, listed in brackets.


Ohio (18)

Obama +2.8

In recent polls, Ohio has been leaning Democratic and at this point, the President leads the RCP average by 2.8 percent. This trend is worrying for Romney as no Republican has lost the state and gone onto election success in over 100 years.


Florida (29)

Romney +1.4

Florida is the United States’ largest battleground state, with 29 electoral votes up for grabs. Obama has been competing fiercely in the state, because by securing it, he more or less guarantees his chance of re-election. Obama has been leading several recent polls, however with unemployment rates higher than the national average and the foreclosure crisis, experts are predicting a swing for Republicans.

The latest RCP average shows Romney is holding the majority in recent polls by 1.4 per cent, but the race for Florida is not yet over, as Obama may still recover with the support of Democratic strongholds in the southern part of the state.


Virginia (13)

Romney +0.3

Despite voting Democrat in the last presidential elections in 2008, Virginia seems the most ambiguous of the swing states with Romney only slightly ahead in the current RCP average. Last election, Obama became the first Democrat to win Virginia in 48 years but he will rely on votes from African Americans and students to gain the lead in this election.


New Hampshire (4)

Obama +1.5

The North eastern state of New Hampshire has previously voted Democratic, but there is speculation over how the state will vote this time, due to Romney’s recognition as Governor of neighbouring state Massachusetts.


North Carolina (15)

Romney +3.8

Despite Obama winning here in the last election, it seems that North Carolina is most likely to switch from Democratic to Republican. The President only won it by 14,000 votes in 2008 and the challenger is currently up by 3.8 percent according to polling average.


Michigan (16)

Obama +4.0

Michigan has carried a Democratic lead throughout the past couple of decades, but Michigan-local Romney is hoping to take the lead due to his personal ties and the state’s economic struggles.

Despite this, the RCP average indicates that Obama is leading by 4.0 per cent.


Wisconsin (10)

Obama +4.2

Of all the swing states, Wisconsin has the heftiest Obama RCP lead with 4.2 percent and the state has been firm Democratic terrain for over 20 years. Yet, there is still time for the figures to change as three quarters of Wisconsin voters said they would not vote until election day.


Pennsylvania (20)

Obama +4.1

Having set the state aside for most of his campaign, Romney is set to make a late stop in Pennsylvania today. Democrats are calling this move an act of desperation from the Governor’s side, attempting to secure last-minute votes.


Iowa (6)

Obama +2.5

Iowa is leaning Democratic with an RCP average lead of 2.5 percent. Again, the Democrats have gained a distinctive lead from the early voting drive from the Obama camp.


Colorado (9)

Obama +0.6

Colorado is a critical swing state for both candidates at this late stage of the race. It presents Romney with his best opportunity to secure a Western swing state, whereas Obama is relying on women and a growing population of Hispanic voters to secure the state.


Nevada (6)

Obama +2.8

Obama’s push for early voting seems to have granted the Democrats a lead in Navada by 2.8 percent RCP, thus Romney will have to rely on election days votes to win swing the state back. Obama has a distinct advantage with support from Hispanic voters.

Make your own predictions as to who will win each state and see the end result of that.

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