Since the 2020 presidential election will ultimately be decided by
the state-by-state electoral college votes, and not by overall popular
votes, it might be useful to take an early look at which states might
switch from Democrat to Republican --- or Republican to Democrat
--- thus providing each party’s nominee with a route to victory in
Donald Trump won in 2016, primarily with upset wins in Wisconsin,
Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and Ohio. All five of these states
remain as battlegrounds in 2020, although the Democrats’ best
opportunities now seem to be in Pennsylvania, Michigan and
Wisconsin. With 46 total electoral votes, and if all other states
have the same results as they did in 2016, winning them would give
Democrats the presidency in 2020.
Democrat also seem now to have the possibility to switch Arizona,
Iowa, North Carolina and Georgia, as well as Ohio and Florida.
Winning all or many of these states in addition would give the
liberal party a decisive electoral college victory --- and probably a
popular vote landslide.
But the Republicans, if 2020 is a good year for the conservative party,
have opportunities to switch states, too. The GOP campaign has
already announced it will make a serious effort in New Mexico,
Nevada and New Hampshire, and GOP strategists are known to have
their eye on Minnesota (where they came very close in 2016) and
Virginia (where Democratic officials are mired in controversies).
Winning most or some of these could offset GOP losses in the
midwest, and keep the White House Republican.
Other states which could become battlegrounds are Colorado
(Democratic in 2016) and Kansas (Republican in 2016).
Circumstances, political or economic, could bring some of the
other 35 states, plus the District of Columbia, into unexpected
contention, but these states as of now do not appear to be likely
The 2018 mid-term elections showed a demographic shift of
many suburban women from GOP to Democratic, and recent
polling indicates modest but potentially significant shifts of
Hispanic and Jewish voters from the Democrats to the GOP.
Another critical demographic could be the strength of black
voter turnout in such large urban areas as Philadelphia and
With more than a year to go, and the Democratic nomination so
unsettled with a large field, many factors, especially economic
ones, could prove decisive in the 15 or so battleground states.
How voters decide in those states, and likely in only some
of them, will determine the outcome in this key cycle.
Copyright (c) 2019 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved,