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Six swing states determined to decide US elections

Six swing states determined to decide US elections
Six swing states determined to decide US elections

 


4 hours ago

ByJames FitzGerald,BBC News

BBC

About 240 million people are eligible to vote in this year's U.S. elections, but only a relatively small number of them are likely to decide the question of who becomes the next president.

Experts believe there are only a handful of states likely to be won by either Democratic President Joe Biden or his Republican predecessor, Donald Trump.

Six of them – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – appear to be on the razor's edge and likely hold the key to the White House election.

The two parties are therefore leading an intensive campaign to win over undecided voters in these Länder.

Arizona

Mr. Biden won the presidency in 2020 with the support of the Grand Canyon State, which narrowly voted to support a Democratic candidate for the first time since the 1990s.

The state borders Mexico for hundreds of miles and has become a focal point in the national debate over immigration. Arrivals at the US border reached record levels while Mr Biden was in office, posing a major electoral problem for him. Border crossings have declined in recent months, but he has hardened his stance and plans to close borders when crossings increase.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly attacked his rivals' immigration records and vowed to carry out the largest deportation operation in U.S. history if he regains the presidency.

Arizona has also been the scene of a bitter dispute over abortion access, after state Republicans attempted to reinstate a 160-year-old near-total ban on termination of pregnancies. It's become an explosive issue nationally since 2022, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a landmark ruling that granted women the constitutional right to abortion.

Georgia

Our list of swing states closely matches the list of places where Trump-backed Republican officials tried to thwart Mr. Biden's victory in the 2020 election. In Georgia, allegations of election interference drove Mr. Trump to find himself in one of his four criminal cases.

He and 18 others are accused of conspiring to overturn his narrow defeat to Mr. Biden in the state. He denies any wrongdoing and it appears increasingly unlikely that the case will be heard in court before the election.

Regardless, it remains to be seen whether Mr. Trump's legal troubles will hurt him at the polls. We may soon find out, now that his secret trial has ended with a guilty verdict.

At 33%, Georgia has one of the highest proportions of African Americans in its population in the country, and this demographic group is believed to have been instrumental in Mr. Biden's flip of the state in 2020. However, disillusionment has been reported among Black American voters, with some saying not enough has been done to combat racial injustice or improve the economy.

Reuters

Trump found himself in four criminal cases, including one in Georgia

Michigan

The Great Lakes State chose the winning candidate in the last two presidential elections. Although he supported Mr. Biden in 2020, he became the symbol of a nationwide backlash over the president's support for Israel during that country's war in Gaza.

In Michigan's Democratic primary in February, more than 100,000 voters chose the uncommitted option on their ballots, after a campaign by activists who want the U.S. government to support a ceasefire in Gaza and ends its military aid to Israel.

Notably, Michigan has the nation's largest proportion of Arab-Americans — a demographic whose support for Mr. Biden appears to be under threat.

Mr. Trump stressed the importance of the state in his potential path to victory. Commenting on events in the Middle East, he called on Israel to end its campaign against Hamas in Gaza, but “to end it quickly”.

Getty Images

The president has faced backlash in Michigan over his Middle East policies.

Nevada

The Silver State voted Democratic in the last election, but there are signs of a possible Republican turnaround. Recent averages published by the polling company 538 indicate that Mr. Trump enjoys a good lead over Mr. Biden. Both men are vying to win over the state's significant Latino population.

Although the US economy has shown strong growth and job creation since Mr. Biden became president, the post-Covid recovery has been slower in Nevada than elsewhere.

At 5.1 percent, the state has the highest unemployment rate in the country, after California and the District of Columbia, according to the latest U.S. government statistics.

If Mr. Trump wins power again, he has pledged to return to a program of lower taxes across the board and fewer regulations.

Getty Images

Nevada voted Democratic in the last election, but its post-Covid recovery has been slower than elsewhere

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvanians are far from alone among Americans in feeling cost-of-living pressures due to inflation. But food prices have risen faster in their state than any other, according to market information provider Datasembly.

The BBC recently reported how people were struggling to get by in Erie – a benchmark county for the rest of Pennsylvania, where as many as one in eight people are considered food insecure.

The state proved pivotal in the 2020 election, supporting Mr. Biden in his successful bid for the White House. He has a deep emotional connection to the working-class town of Scranton, where he grew up.

High inflation could hurt Mr Biden in the United States, as polls suggest it gives voters an unfavorable view of the economy.

Mr. Trump sought to attack his opponent over the persistence of high prices. But he has his own challenges in Pennsylvania after a relatively strong performance by his Republican rival Nikki Haley.

Getty Images

Food prices rose faster in Pennsylvania than anywhere else, Datasembly finds

Wisconsin

The Badger State also chose the winning presidential candidate in 2016 and 2020, by a margin of just over 20,000 votes each time.

Experts have suggested that it is in fringe states like these that third-party candidates campaigning against the policies of both major candidates could have an impact.

Polls have indicated that a significant show of support for an independent such as Robert F. Kennedy Jr. – who is fighting to be registered to vote in Wisconsin and other states – could hurt the vote count for M .Biden or Mr. Trump.

Mr. Trump described the state as very important. If we win Wisconsin, we win everything. The summer Republican National Convention will be held in the city of Milwaukee.

Mr. Biden recently pointed to a new Microsoft data center heading to Wisconsin as evidence of how it was creating new jobs; arguing that his predecessor had been unable to deliver on his promises.

Getty Images

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. fights to be registered to vote in Wisconsin

Learn more about the US elections

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