When it comes to the presidential election, each year there are holdout states, known as swing states, that cannot be relied on to vote consistently Republican or Democratic. While these are only a handful of states, they have the potential power to heavily influence the outcome of an election, whether they swing blue or red. With the candidates needing 270 electoral votes to win, these swing states can make a huge difference because each has a different number of votes up for grabs. Based on previous voting patterns from the last few elections, here is a list of the 10 states that will decide the fate of 2016 presidential elections.
While holding only nine electoral votes, this swing state can be difficult for forecasters to predict each year. In 2016 it is considered to be a toss-up, as early numbers seem to put both sides neck and neck. In 2004 the Republicans grabbed the electoral votes out of Colorado, but since then things have been quite different. President Obama narrowly took the votes in both 2008 and 2012, posting a 51.5% share in the last election. Both candidates will have to really make an impression in 2016 to pull away with these nine votes.
Traditionally, Virginia is a hard state to predict as to which way they will lean. They hold thirteen of the electoral votes, and candidates in 2016 are going to have to fight hard to win this closely contested battleground state. Bush won the state back in 2004, but once again President Obama took the state in 2008 and 2012 by the narrowest of margins. When he beat Romney, he only pulled 51.2% of the vote. A late rally could easily move this state to one side or the other.
The state of Nevada has been in recent years leaning towards the Democrats, and in 2016 it appears (so far) to be headed in that same direction. Early reports from Rothenberg & Gonzales say the state’s six electoral votes will be for a Democrat unless the Republican candidate really makes some noise. The last time a Republican won the state’s electoral votes was 2004, but since then President Obama has taken the state from both Romney and McCain quite easily.