Wednesday, August 18, 2004

What Is A Swing State?

Looking at swing state polls such as Zogby Interactive and swing state voter mobilization campaigns by MoveOn and ACT, all sources agree that the following 13 states are in the “swing” or "battleground" category:

Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

The states that appear on some lists and not others include the following:

Arizona, Arkansas, Maine, Minnesota, and Tennessee.

What do these 18 states have in common? Other than the fact that they all voted for Clinton in 1996, the margin of victory for the winner in 2000 for all of these states was less than 7%:

Gore States:

Iowa .32%
Maine 5.12%
Michigan 5.13%
Minnesota 2.41%
New Mexico .06%
Oregon .44%
Pennsylvania 4.17%
Washington 5.58%
Wisconsin .22%

Bush States:

Arizona 6.29%
Arkansas 5.45%
Florida .01%
Missouri 3.34%
Nevada 3.55%
New Hampshire 1.27%
Ohio 3.55%
Tennessee 3.86%
West Virginia 6.33%

But a presentation given to the rural caucus at the Democratic National Convention last month told a slightly different story: a battleground state map that had 21 states in play, all of the above minus Tennessee plus the following (listed with 2000 margin of victory):

Colorado 9%
Louisiana 9%
North Carolina 13%
Virginia 8%

And it appears that in the weeks since the convention, John Kerry’s campaign has made this new map a reality. According to recent polls, Kerry has shored up support in most of the blue states (Pennsylvania, Michigan and Washington are virtually off the swing state list), has small leads or is tied in the electoral vote rich "red" states of Florida, Ohio and Missouri and has expanded the number of red states that are competitive.

Among the latter category, here are the latest polls available from the state of John Kerry's birth and the state that John Edwards represents in the Senate respectively:


Survey USA, Aug. 14-16

Kerry 47
Bush 47

North Carolina:

Research 2000 Poll, Aug. 8-11

Kerry 45
Bush 48

This trend is confirmed by Zogby's announcement today that they will be expanding their battleground state polling to include Colorado, Virginia, North Carolina and Arizona.

But don’t take my word for it. Here are what some other bloggers have to say on the subject of battleground states:

Joshua Micah Marshall of talkingpointsmemo

User MichaelD of dailyKos

User MattB25 of dailyKos


Blogger Rob D said...

all good information, and very interesting. May I interest you in exchanging links to blogs?

Let me know,


6:29 PM  

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