Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden are now in the final stretch of their campaigns with the 2020 US election less than a week away.
On November 3, all eyes will be on the battleground states, also known as 'swing states', which will likely determine the next President of the United States.
Here's what you need to know about the all-important states.
What is a battleground state?
Most states in the United States always vote a specific way - Republican or Democratic.
'Red states' include Idaho, Alaska, and many southern states, where the Republicans nearly always win their electoral votes.
California, Illinois, and the New England region on the northeast coast, are generally won by Democrats and are considered 'blue states'.
But there are a few which have unclear party loyalties; they are known as "swing states" or "battleground states".
Why are they important?
Battleground states hold significant power in deciding the next US President due to the electoral college system.
In the United States, the President isn't elected based on the majority of votes (also known as the popular vote), they are elected based on electoral votes.
Each state is given a specific number of electoral votes, which is loosely based on their population, and whoever wins the majority of the popular votes takes away all of the state's electoral votes.
For example, if Donald Trump wins 51 percent of the popular vote in Florida, they get all of the state's 29 electorate votes.
Only two states, Maine and Nebraska, divide up their electoral college votes based on the proportion of popular votes each candidate receives.
Therefore the states which don't always vote a specific way and have a lot of electoral votes up for grabs are extremely important to win on election day.
What are the Battleground States?
- Arizona (11 electoral votes)
- Florida (29)
- Georgia (16)
- Iowa (6)
- Michigan (16)
- Minnesota (10)
- Nevada (6)
- New Hampshire (4)
- North Carolina (15)
- Ohio (18)
- Pennsylvania (20)
- Texas (38)
- Virginia (13)
- Wisconsin (10)
The demographics within the battleground states differ from the national average, the Guardian reported.
The residents are generally older, have more white voters with tertiary education, and have smaller non-white populations.
These characteristics generally favour Republicans, and made up the base of Trump’s votes in 2016.
Florida (29) and Texas (38) will be the main states to watch during the election due to their large number of electoral votes up for grabs.
What are the polls showing?
As of: October 31
According to Real Clear Politics, which averages the results of hundreds of US political polls, Joe Biden is currently the preferred presidential candidate.
The Democratic candidate is polling at 51.3 percent, while Donald Trump is lagging behind at 43.5 percent.
Based on the current polls here's who's expected to win each state:
- Arizona (11 electoral votes) -Tie between Trump and Biden (47 percent each)
- Florida (29) - Biden (48.4 percent to Trump's 47.2)
- Georgia (16) - Biden (47.7 percent to Trump's 47.3)
- Iowa (6) - Biden (47.2 percent to Trump's 46)
- Michigan (16) - Biden (50 percent to Trump's 43.5)
- Minnesota (10) - Biden (48 percent to Trump's 43.3)
- Nevada (6) - Biden (48.5 percent to Trump's 44.5)
- New Hampshire (4) - Biden (no average data)
- North Carolina (15) - Biden ( percent to Trump's)
- Ohio (18) - Tie between Trump and Biden (46.2 percent each)
- Pennsylvania (20) - Biden (49.5 percent to Trump's 45.9)
- Texas (38) - Trump (48 percent to Biden's 45.7)
- Virginia (13) - Biden (no average data)
- Wisconsin (10) - Biden (50.3 percent to Trump's 43.9)
For the latest polling visit: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2020/president/ga/georgia_trump_vs_biden-6974.html