STATES THAT WILL DECIDE THE ELECTION
The Grand Canyon State hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Bill Clinton in 1996, but Democrats believe that increased Hispanic voter registration will keep things competitive. Recent polling has given Republican Donald Trump a slight edge over Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Colorado cast its vote for Republican George W. Bush in 2004 by a higher percentage than the nation as a whole. Four years later, it did the same thing — except for Democrat Barack Obama. Only termed a swing state in the past few elections, Colorado has been shifting to the left rapidly. This year, for the first time in decades, Democratic and unaffiliated voters outnumber Republicans.
The Sunshine State is once again the centre of the presidential campaign and has been a frequent stop for Clinton and Trump. Florida is essential to Trump’s chances. Barring big upsets elsewhere, failure to win here blocks the Republican’s path to the 270 electoral votes he needs to capture the White House.
The last Democrat to carry Georgia was a fellow Southerner, Bill Clinton, in 1992, so the Peach State didn’t appear particularly ripe for Hillary Clinton when the race began. But it has turned unexpectedly competitive this year. Several recent polls have shown the contest to be within the margin of error or Trump leading by a modest margin. Clinton is being buoyed by an overwhelming lead among black voters in Atlanta.
Trump’s strength among white, noncollege-educated voters could help swing Iowa to the GOP this cycle, after it voted for Obama in 2008 and 2012. Iowa is more than 90-per-cent white. Trump has a five-point lead, according to a polling average of recent surveys. Despite the buzz, Iowa has just six electoral college votes. Still, it is a must-win for Trump, given his limited path to the 270 electoral votes needed to win.
Michigan voters have not supported a Republican for president since 1988. Backlash against globalization has made trade deals a major issue in parts of the state where Trump expects to do best, especially among white, non-college-educated voters.
Nevada has an independent and libertarian streak, and Trump seems to have tapped into that. But early voters favour Democrats in similar numbers to when President Obama won the state in 2012. This race looks like it could be a nail-biter.
Tiny and independent-minded, and with four electoral votes, it’s not a big prize in the general election, but it is considered a battleground because of significant Republican strength amid solidly Democratic northeastern states.
The Land of Enchantment has been a Democratic stronghold during the past two presidential elections, with Obama winning by double-digit margins both times. Trump recently visited the state for an evening airport rally as part of an 11th-hour attempt to put it in play. But not a single public poll has shown Clinton trailing the Republican nominee there.
North Carolina has historically been favourable turf for Republicans in presidential races. Democrats see longer-term trends in the state working in their favour: an influx of white, college-educated professionals along an urban and suburban corridor stretching from Raleigh to Charlotte, and an uptick in the African-American share of the electorate.
This Rust Belt state’s demographics play to Donald Trump’s strengths, with a population that is about 80 per cent white — and heavy with working- and middle-class Americans who are anxious about the economy.
Trump has sought to energize the Republican part of the state, which, in past elections, has been outvoted by solidly Democratic Philadelphia in the east and the area around Pittsburgh in the west. Clinton has focused primarily on those two large urban areas this year.
Evan McMullin, a Utah-born Mormon, is running as an independent. He claims to be competitive in 34 states, either on the ballot or as a write-in candidate. Some polls have shown him tied with Trump here, with Clinton not far behind.
Clinton has several advantages in Virginia, home of her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, including strength among suburban college-educated women. Trump has sought to bolster support among rural voters and active-duty and military veterans.
Trump is wagering that his crusade against sweeping multinational trade deals will boost turnout among conservative white, working-class voters who have experienced firsthand the decline of the manufacturing industry in the United States.