As we get nearer to Election Day 2016, Constitution Daily looks at the Electoral College breakdown historically of 15 states that will be crucial in the November 8 election.For our list, we used states listed as Battleground or Swing states on the Real Clear Politics website as of November 1, 2016. Some additional states, such as Utah, Indiana and Texas, could also see close contests next week.
The Real Clear Politics list accounts for 187 electoral votes of the 538 votes at stake in the 2016 election. The biggest states on the list are Florida (29 votes). Pennsylvania (20 votes), Ohio (18 votes), Michigan (16 votes) and Georgia (16 votes).
In the past five elections, the Republicans have won the majority of the presidential races in just 5 states since 1996, and they also took two of five races in Florida, Ohio and Nevada. This year, the trends will probably shift in what is expected to be a close race.
Here is the list of states, with their electoral votes and trends going back before 1996.
Arizona (11 electoral votes)Trend (past five elections): GOP 4, Democrats 1
Bill Clinton took Arizona in 1996, but that was the only win there in the past 16 presidential elections for the Democrats.
Colorado (9 electoral votes)Trend (past five elections): GOP 3, Democrats 2
Barack Obama easily won Colorado in 2008 and 2012, but the Republicans took three prior elections – including a Bob Dole victory over Bill Clinton in 1996. However, Colorado also voted for Clinton in 1992 over George H.W. Bush and Ross Perot.
Florida (29 electoral votes)Trend (past five elections): Democrats 3, GOP 2
Barack Obama won Florida twice but with closer margins than in Colorado. The two Bush victories included the historic 2000 state election that decided the presidential race. Bill Clinton won Florida in 1996 but lost in 1992 there to George H.W. Bush
Georgia (16 electoral votes)Trend (past five elections): GOP 5, Democrats 0
The Republicans have controlled the presidential vote by a significant margin in Georgia since 2000. In 1996, Bill Clinton was competitive in Georgia but still lost, after taking the state in 1992.
Iowa (6 electoral votes)Trend (past five elections): Democrats 4, GOP 1
Iowa has been leaning toward Donald Trump in recent polls, which goes against the trend in the state’s past five presidential races. Only George W. Bush in 2004 was able to grab Iowa for the GOP, and the Democrats have won six of the past seven presidential contests in Iowa.
Maine (4 electoral votes)Trend (past five elections): Democrats 5, GOP 0
The Republicans haven’t taken all of Maine’s four electoral votes since 1988, but Maine also uses a proportional system where each congressional district gets 1 vote. So the winner this year will get all four votes, or three out of four votes.
Michigan (16 votes)Trend (past five elections): Democrats 5, GOP 0
Michigan has voted Democrat since 1992, but it also voted Republican for five presidential races before Bill Clinton won there. The best GOP performance in Michigan in recent elections was in the Bush-Kerry contest.
Minnesota (10 votes)Trend (past five elections): Democrats 5, GOP 0
Minnesota has been an even tougher vote for the Republicans. The last GOP candidate to take Minnesota was Richard Nixon in 1972.
Missouri (10 votes)Trend (past five elections): GOP 4, Democrats 1
The Show Me State has gone to the Republicans in nine of the past 12 presidential elections. Bill Clinton did take Missouri twice, and Barack Obama barely lost there to John McCain in 2008.
Nevada (6 votes)Trend (past five elections): Democrats 3, GOP 2
Nevada is a bellwether state: The winner there in the past nine elections has gone on to become President. Barack Obama and George W. Bush both won twice there, and Bill Clinton also won twice.
New Hampshire (4 votes)Trend (past five elections): Democrats 4, GOP 1
With the exception of 2004, New Hampshire was voted for the presidential winner in every election since 1980. Bill Clinton won there by almost 10 percentage points in 1996.
North Carolina (15 votes)Trend (past five elections): GOP 4, Democrats 1
The Tar Heel State has been reliably Republican since 1968 with two exceptions: Jimmy Carter won for the Democrats in 1976 and Barack Obama won there in 2008.
Ohio (18 votes)Trend (past five elections): Democrats 3, GOP 2
There is a reason Ohio attracts a lot of attention in presidential campaigns: In the past 10 races, the Democrats and Republicans have each won five times, and the winner in Ohio went on to become President.
Pennsylvania (20 votes)Trend (past five elections): Democrats 5, GOP 0
Pennsylvania has gone to the Democrats in the past six elections, with George W. Bush having the most success among the GOP candidates in 2004, where he lost by 2.5 percent to John Kerry.
Virginia (20 votes)Trend (past five elections): GOP 3, Democrats 2
Barack Obama’s two wins in Virginia broke a Republican streak in the state that went back to 1968. Since 1928, only four Democratic candidates won in Virginia: Obama, Lyndon Johnson, Harry Truman and Franklin Roosevelt.
Wisconsin (10 votes)
Trend (past five elections): Democrats 5, GOP 0
The Democrats have controlled Wisconsin in presidential races since 1976, with Ronald Reagan as the only Republican to win there, twice. George W. Bush lost narrowly twice in Wisconsin by under a percentage point in 2000 and 2004.
In all, the Democrats won the majority of contests in 10 of the 15 Battleground States since 1996. Florida, Nevada and Ohio also went to the eventual presidential winner in the past five elections, so they may warrant special attention as you watch the election results on Tuesday night.
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