White House elections take place all over the United States, from Hawaii to Maine and from Alaska to Texas. And yet the battle seems to take place mainly in fourteen states: the swing states or battleground states – states that fluctuate between Republican and Democratic dominance. A voter in a swing state like Florida or Arizona is worth a lot more to candidates than a voter in Oklahoma or California. This has been the case for decades. This year also shows that the swing states are shifting: the battlefield is shifting and expanding.
A swing is a swing. In swing states, voter preference fluctuates or varies, sometimes the Republican candidate wins, sometimes the Democrat. In other states, this political preference seems set in stone and there is hardly any movement.
This is mainly due to the profile of the residents. If that is a very homogeneous profile, you usually also get a similar, steadfast public and political opinion. People view the world, politics and candidates through their own social context: their racial identity, their profession and the place where they live. This then produces political winners who meet and respond to their expectations.
In short, these are the dividing lines: Republicans find it easiest to link up with farmers and residents of small towns and villages in the countryside, with whites and the elderly, and more men than women. Democrats score better among urban dwellers, minorities (blacks and Hispanics), among young people and women.