STATES THAT WILL DE­CIDE THE ELEC­TION

Toronto Star - - AMERICA VOTES - THE WASH­ING­TON POST

Ari­zona

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

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.

Florida

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.

Ge­or­gia

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.

Iowa

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

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

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.

New Hamp­shire

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.

New Mex­ico

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

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.

Ohio

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.

Penn­syl­va­nia

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.

Utah

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.

Vir­ginia

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.

Wis­con­sin

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.

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