Each battleground state receives ample campaign visits, ad spending, and national attention because the outcomes in most states are clear months ahead of elections. These campaign investments count on a largely stable electoral map only shifted by a handful of hotly contested states.
Frequent use of battleground state in national elections makes it seem like a deeply ingrained part of our political language. Merriam-Webster found an example of the phrase in an 1842 edition of the Centinel of Freedom. In this case, the phrase was used to describe internal political strife in New Jersey politics.
Media outlets and political pundits have identified a few battleground states heading into the 2020 presidential election. Political analyst Kyle Kondik published an analysis that listed Arizona, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin as pure toss-up states. Priorities USA Chairman Guy Cecil identified Florida, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Nevada, and New Hampshire as core states for Democratic campaigns. Our electoral vote map for 2020 starts with 10 battleground states based on an analysis done by former Clinton political director Doug Sosnik.
The temptation to expand the electoral map ahead of a presidential election is strong. NBC News drew on the 2018 midterm elections to remove battleground distinctions from Colorado and Ohio while suggesting Arizona and Georgia could join the swing state club. An NPR report from August 2019 identified Texas as a potential battleground state due to demographic changes and turnover in the congressional delegation. It is important to note that these shifts often take multiple elections to be realized or rejected.
These estimates of the state of play in the next presidential election show divergent opinions among political observers. An analysis of presidential election results from 2000 to 2016 using margins of victory can solidify battleground states in our minds.
With some certainty, we can narrow the field of 2020 battlegrounds to these eight states. Additional states might evolve from Republican or Democratic locks to battlegrounds in future races. Voters and analysts can draw on data from past elections and current polling to anticipate these shifts in the political landscape. 041b061a72