Everything You Need To Know About Swing States

Illustrated by Abbie Winters.
With less than 24 hours until the polls open, we’ve updated this post with the most recent statistics. Ahead, see how things have changed — or not — in the states to watch in the 2016 presidential race.

This story was originally published on November 1, 2016.
If you’ve been following the presidential election, you’ve probably been hearing plenty about the swing states.
Those states considered up for grabs for either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump hold between them a significant chunk of Electoral College votes — more than enough to make-or-break a campaign.
That's why, with just over a week to go, Trump and Clinton are duking it out to see who can convince voters in states like Florida, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina to help "swing" the polls in their favor.
Some of the states in play this year are ones that are traditionally considered battlegrounds for presidential candidates. One example is Ohio, which tends to have close races and has swung back and forth between the parties in recent elections. Others, like Wisconsin, for instance, tend to favor one party in presidential elections (in this case, Democrats) but feature demographics that are typically considered favorable to the other candidate.
Polls show the rivals for the White House are each dominating in specific demographic areas — Clinton is showing major leads with Black and minority voters, while Trump is doing enormously well with white men without college degrees. Those big discrepancies mean that state-by-state demographic shifts could provide major advantages to either candidate, sometimes in areas that political parties in previous elections had written off as lost causes.
So, if you’re tired of hearing about the so-called Election 2016 battlegrounds without getting any of the necessary information, read on. We’ve gathered the states you should be watching in the lead-up to November 8, and what to consider when it comes to recent polling averages, previous voting records, and demographics. Where appropriate, we’ve included third-party candidates who have a shot at a win (or at least a shot at shifting the balance in a major way).

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