As the clock ticks down to the outcome of the 2020 US elections, all eyes remain on the six swing states that would play the deciding factor in the results of polling in the world's oldest democracy.
The swing states, known as battlegrounds or purple states, are the targets for both the parties as they are the areas with unclear loyalties where both Republican and Democrat candidates enjoy strong support. They decide the fate of the US elections.
Swing states can change in every election cycle and depend on factors like the past poll outcome, opinion polls, political trends, population and demographics, etc.
The swing states in the 2020 US elections are Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Texas, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. The six states are likely to have a neck and neck contest between Trump and Biden as the current president had won narrowly in most states against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 elections. It is to be seen if Trump manages to retain them to be re-elected this time.
Here's a look at the six swing states that are under the spotlight this election:
Arizona - 11 electoral votes
Arizona has voted for Republican since 1957, except in 1996, when it voted for Bill Clinton. Trump had won the state with a narrow margin against Hillary Clinton in 2016, however, Biden is said to be leading in the state this time. An IANS report on Monday said Biden was ahead of Trump by 6 points in Arizona, 49 to 43 percent.
"A fast-growing Latino population — politically activated during the past decade by anti-immigrant legislation — plus explosive growth among suburbanites skeptical of Trump has energized Democrats," writes AP in its analysis.
Florida - 29 electoral votes
With 29 electoral college votes up for grabs, Florida is known for its neck and neck tallies. Florida saw Democratic success in the 2018 midterms, however, is led by a Republican governor.
Trump gets support from Cuban and Venezuelan Americans in Florida while Biden has also elevated his focus on one of the most important states among the battlegrounds which has the potential of blocking Trump’s reelection if swings Democratic.
Georgia - 16 electoral votes
Georgia had been a Democratic stronghold until 1972, when it switched to Republican. Since 1990s, the state hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate, with Trump easily winning the battleground by 5 percentage points in the last elections against Hillary Clinton.
However, the grand old party is losing its grip as some parts of the state are favouring the Democratic candidate. Biden could win the state by a whisker as he is said to be having a lead here, however, as Florida, this too would be a neck and neck race.
Texas - 38 electoral votes
With 38 electoral college votes at stake, this is the most important battleground with a close race, which has traditionally favoured a Republican candidate. The state that shares a long wall with Mexico could give a slight edge to Trump on his promise to build a wall.
Pennsylvania - 20 electoral votes
Usually a Democratic state, turned Republican when it voted for Trump in 2016, giving him a margin of a little over a percentage point. While Biden is said to be leading this year after his heavy campaigning in the state, some suggest chances remain for Trump to grab another win.
"Trump’s hopes of winning boosted after Biden, in a presidential debate, called for phasing out fossil fuels. That created an opportunity for Trump in a state with a robust natural gas industry," says the AP analysis.
Wisconsin - 10 electoral votes
Trump, who won the state by 23,000 votes in 2016, needs to perform better this time outside the urban areas of Milwaukee and Madison. One of the deciding factors could be the handling of COVID-19 by Trump in the state which has seen a sharp spike in the cases.
First Published: IST