As Election Day draws closer, President Donald Trump and Democratic opponent Joe Biden are entering the final weeks of their campaigns. In the race for 270 electoral votes — the majority needed to win the White House — both candidates have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to garner support from voters across the country. While broad national support is important, the winner will likely be decided by voters in only a handful of closely contested, politically divided states.
Going into the 2020 election, the political leanings of the majority of states are mostly decided. States in the Northeast and along the West Coast tend to be more liberal, and their electoral votes will almost certainly go to Biden, the Democratic candidate. Meanwhile, Southern states as well as many in the Midwest, are more conservative, and Trump, the Republican candidate, is counting on their support.
There are over a dozen states, however, where the outcome on Election Day is not a foregone conclusion. The political divide in these states means that they are either too close to call or could likely vote counter to the prevailing political sentiment in the state. In many battleground states, urban areas tend to be more liberal, and rural areas tend to be more conservative. Here is a look at the most Democratic county and the most Republican county in each state.
To determine who would win in battleground states if the presidential election was held today, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed polling data from RealClearPolitics, a political news and analysis outlet. The margin of victory shown reflects an average of results from multiple local and national polling agencies that often utilize different prediction models. Our list also includes congressional districts in Maine and Nebraska — two states that split their electoral votes — for which polling data is unavailable.
Of course, the election is not today, and much can change in the weeks leading up to Nov. 3. At this juncture in the 2016 presidential election, Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton had a slight advantage over Trump in the national polls as well as a strong lead in several key battleground states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Clinton ended up losing each of these states — and the election along with them.
One factor that could decide the winning candidate in many of the states on this list is voter turnout. Participation rates among eligible voters can fluctuate from one election to another, and motivation among likely voters remains a critical unknown factor going into election day. As has been the case in recent presidential elections, high voter turnout will likely benefit the Democratic Party in 2020. Here is a look at the states with the highest voter turnout.