EbeneMagazine – US – Why Swing States are a Thing


As Americans in 50 states and Washington, DC vote on Election Day – or have already voted early – the votes of some states will be more closely watched than others in the last half-year. century, the proportion of Americans who vote for the same party in each election has increased; unsurprisingly, some states are consistent in the same way And so all eyes will be on the few states that vary their votes: the swing states

Prior to the 1970s, one could find rare and sporadic references to the term swing state, but back then it meant something more like a bellwether state – a state political journalists turned to because that they thought its inhabitants would vote for the eventual winner presidential election « The phenomenon has been around for a long time, but it had a different label, » says Alex Keyssar, author of Why Do We Still Have the Electoral College? and professor of history and social policy at Harvard University Political experts have used other terms to describe oscillating states, such as « dubious » states

The 1976 election, when Georgia’s Outer Governor Jimmy Carter defeated incumbent President Gerald Ford, was marked by states of swing, Keyssar says, in part because it was still in the a time when many Southern Democrats switched to the Republican Party This situation has contributed to a situation in which a large number of states could have gone both ways

« The two political parties were more ideologically diverse, so you had less polarization, » says David Schultz, editor of the anthology Presidential Swing States: Why Only Ten Matter « As and polarization has stiffened since the 1970s – people are less likely to vote two-way; people are less likely to vote Republican in one election, Democrat in the next – this stems from the idea that states have also become more firmly partisan in one way or another « 

Schultz and his co-editor, Stacey Hunter Hecht, define a swing state as one that often displayed a vote difference of 5% or less for the top two candidates, a vote result that often matches the national popular vote and a history of swinging between parties With the election of George HW Bush in 1988, the situation from the turning state had begun to evolve into the present situation, with just a handful of states as eternal battlegrounds

“Between 1888 and 1988 it was common for close national elections for 30-40% of states to be competitive, within five percentage points. The 1960 election is a prime case in point, a very close election and it There were 20 competitive states Also at this time, the list of competitive and changing states would change frequently as a cast of rotating characters, ”says Scott McLean, contributor to Presidential Swing States and professor of political science at Quinnipiac University “But since 1988, the swing club has been a smaller group, even as national elections approach, with most states reappearing for multiple election cycles. « 

Schultz and Hecht’s book focuses on the period that began with the 1988 election, but even since its release in 2015 the number of swing states has continued to decline

“Since I wrote the first edition of the book in 2015 and the second edition in 2018, states like Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico – which were booming – have moved more firmly to the side. Democrat, and states like Missouri have fallen more firmly to the Republican side, ”says Schultz The 2018 edition added Pennsylvania, which went from a reliable democracy to a Republican vote in the 2016 presidential election

And Schultz now thinks the 2020 election will be held in the same states it was held in 2016: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan

These are states where white working-class voters without a college degree, who in the past tended to vote Democrats, started voting Republican when their high-paying manufacturing jobs disappeared They also have large populations graduates from renowned public and private universities and universities, as well as urban areas that are racially diverse and democratic in tendency “A combination of all of these factors puts them in a really nice position to look pretty swingy,” as Schultz puts it “What you really have here is the juxtaposition of college-educated suburban women standing together. moving in one direction and white Caucasian men without a college degree moving in a different direction The intersection of these two populations within these three oscillating states is the whole election « 

And Americans know it: Images of electoral maps showing red republican states and blue democratic states have become an iconic illustration of this polarization of the electorate

In recent years, the media have played an important role in popularizing the term swing states, as the increase in partisan TV channels and news websites has allowed consumers to listen only to like-minded experts In contrast, in the 1960s there were only a few TV channels « These networks have converged to the center to maximize audience share, but now you have many different news sources aimed at different groups and areas of interest, « says Schultz The proliferation of partisan media sources has served to exacerbate the polarization which has resulted in more voters systematically supporting either party, he argues

And this media focus on swing states only increased after the heated 2000 election – which fell in just one state, Florida, and ended in a Supreme Court ruling halting a recount of votes in the state – and the 2004 election, when some alleged that the purges of the electoral lists in Ohio had tipped the scales in favor of Bush According to the 2015 edition of Presidential Swing States, a search by word- key « swing states » in the New York Times revealed 139 references to the term in the 2000 election, 321 in 2004, 231 in 2008 and 581 in 2012

The media fascination with coverage of the swing state is made even more possible by the shrinking number of swing states and the rise of 24-hour wired news. Swing states are also becoming less expensive to poll, so these polls proliferated and continued to fuel interest in horse racing in major swing states

So what is the impact of the presidential elections on a handful of swing states on American society?

McLean, for his part, argues that the swing state dynamic has exacerbated distrust of US government and institutions that dates back to the Watergate scandal of the 1970s. « The sad effect is that the majority of voters are largely relegated to the role of spectators, » he said « So it’s no wonder that when the same dynamic states always seem to decide national elections, it can erode the belief that elections are the voice of the people. »

Swing State, US Presidential Election, 2020, Republican Party

EbeneMagazine – US – Why Swing States are a Thing

SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com/news/ebenemagazine-us-why-swing-states-are-a-thing/?remotepost=518595



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