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Swing States Outlook for 2024




America

The Swing States and Election Integrity


The outlook for swing states in the 2024 U.S. Presidential election and concerns about election integrity are critical topics.


2024 Swing States Outlook


  • Swing States Identified: Key swing states in the 2024 election include Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. These states are being closely monitored for voter preferences and key issues influencing their choices.

  • Current Trends: As of late 2023, surveys show former President Donald Trump leading President Joe Biden in all seven swing states. The leads vary by state: Arizona (+3 points), Georgia (+7 points), Michigan (+4 points), Nevada (+5 points), North Carolina (+11 points), Pennsylvania (+1 point), and Wisconsin (+6 points). However, these leads mostly fall within each state’s margin of error, except for Georgia and North Carolina.

  • Third-Party Impact: The inclusion of third-party candidates in the ballots affects the dynamics, with about 1 in 10 voters in each swing state supporting Robert F. Kennedy Jr., and a smaller percentage supporting other third-party candidates.

  • Key Issues for Voters: The economy and illeagal immigration emerge as the top issues for voters in these swing states, with a majority considering them very important in their voting decision. Trump is preferred on both issues.


Election Integrity Concerns for 2024

  • Evolving Threats: The gravest threats to U.S. election integrity have evolved to include not only foreign cyberattacks and influence campaigns but also domestic challenges like the intimidation of election workers, and ballot manipulation for voter fraud and election fraud.

  • Foreign Influence: Heightened global conflicts, such as the situation in Ukraine, have intensified motives for foreign powers, particularly Russia, to interfere in U.S. elections as part of their broader foreign policy strategies.

  • Domestic Challenges: Issues such as partisan interference, violence against election workers, insider threats, and the deliberate spread of misinformation pose significant challenges. Advances in AI have exacerbated these issues by facilitating the creation of deceptive content..

  • Response Strategies: Addressing these threats requires a coordinated response across multiple levels of government. Federal agencies, state legislatures, and local election officials must work together to counter misinformation, protect election workers, prevent insider threats, and secure election infrastructure against cyberattacks​​.

Overall, the 2024 U.S. Presidential election presents a complex landscape with close races in key swing states and multifaceted challenges to election integrity. Ensuring the security and fairness of the election will be crucial for maintaining public trust in the democratic process.


Swing States and Possible Election Fraud

These seven states will determine the 2024 presidential election. Because historical election returns have proven to be extremely close, each election is vulnerable to voter fraud.


Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Nevada, Arizona, and Georgia.


The question Republicans are asking is: Can Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) win the White House in 2024? A better, more precise question is: Can he win suburban voters in Pennsylvania?


It’s a question all prospective GOP primary candidates should answer. Suburbanites are swing voters, while urban dwellers trend. Democratic and rural residents are overwhelmingly Republican. Therefore, in battleground Pennsylvania, the candidate who captures the suburban vote increases their chances of winning the state’s 19 electoral votes to reach the 270 votes required to win the presidency. 


Thus, for Republicans itching to win back the White House, the eventual nominee must appeal to suburban voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Arizona, and Georgia. Winning or losing these six states reduces the 2024 presidential election to its simplest form. But the likelihood of a winning combination is stacked against the GOP. Why? The answer is challenging Electoral College math along with some reality checks.


Now don’t expect GOP candidates to explain why or how they will win these six critical states before or during the primary season. When the “electability factor” is raised, it’s usually about winning in general. And Republican primary voters can expect to hear variations of “Fighting to save America” and “Let’s take our country back.” Unfortunately, slogans about uniting America are past their sell-by date since “uniting” means compromise, which, in the eyes of many Americans, equates to surrender.


The current leading Republican primary candidate, former President Trump, won six states and the presidency in 2016. But in 2020, he lost five of them (which explains the “former” title). Reversing his losses requires new policies and broader (dare I say moderate?) appeal from a nominee who catches fire among independents in addition to a young and diverse electorate willing to vote for a new White House occupant. Does that candidate exist?


An undisputed political fact is that the Republican base alone cannot elect a president. (Same for the Democratic base.) Yet, the depth of national polarization is illustrated by how both parties begin the 2024 race with a list of likely red or blue states spread across the Electoral College map.


If a party won a state over the last two presidential elections, it is deemed the “likely” winner in 2024. After the 2020 election and census, the likely red states provide 219 electoral votes, including Texas, Ohio, and Florida. Democrats have 232 votes from possible blue states. Hence, with 538 electoral votes — 87 are battleground votes spread across six states.


So now, let’s examine those six states, starting with the most likely to be named the 2024 “mother of all battlegrounds,” even though it was “red” over the last three presidential elections.


North Carolina: The 2020 census increased its electoral votes from 15 to 16. North Carolina’s economic and population growth supplements the voter rolls with young, skilled, educated residents who tend to be more progressive and racially diverse. Meanwhile, retirees migrating from northern or midwestern states provide some balance.


The state’s movement from solid red began in 2008 when Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) squeezed out a 0.3 percentage-point win over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Then from 2012 to 2020, North Carolina reverted to red, but it was always close. In 2016, Trump won by a more generous 3.6 percentage points, but his 2020 win was only 1.3 points. Considering the GOP’s narrow electoral path in 2024, North Carolina is a “must-win” — a status once granted to Ohio and Florida.  


Georgia: The GOP’s shocking loss of the state’s 16 electoral votes in 2020 guarantees that the next Republican nominee will become one with Georgians. In 2016, Trump won by 5.2 percentage points, only to lose by 0.2 points in 2020. So, was it Trump or a more general trend toward blue?


Arizona: Here is another 2020 red-to-blue shocker that is either a one-off or a blue presidential trend. For the electoral math equation, the GOP must win back Arizona’s 11 electoral votes that Trump lost by 0.3 percentage points after winning in 2016 by 3.6 points. But Arizona is not a must-win for Democrats because of the following cushion.  


Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania: The three “blue wall” states have voted in unison since 1992. The three states total 44 electoral votes, down from 46 in 2020, with Pennsylvania and Michigan losing one vote.  


In 2016 Trump unexpectedly won all three states by fractions that allowed him to reach 270. Then in 2020, Biden reclaimed the “blue wall.” Here are Trump and Biden’s percentage-point margins of victory:

Michigan 2016: 0.2  — 2020: 2.8

Wisconsin 2016: 0.7 — 2020: 0.7

Pennsylvania 2016: 0.7 — 2020: 1.2


In politics, always expect the unexpected, and historical voting data only acts as a guide. Nonetheless, the GOP nominee has a steep climb over the blue wall to win at least one of the three states, along with must-wins in Georgia, Arizona, and North Carolina, to reach 272 electoral votes. (Wisconsin, the GOPs best bet, is represented in the 272 total.)


All this electoral math gaming precludes unexpected red or blue flips. Still, the 2024 Republican nominee must focus on these six states to reach 270. GOP primary voters should boldly ask whether their candidate can win these states or risk losing the White House.


Source: Myra Adams writes about politics and religion for numerous publications. She is a RealClearPolitics contributor and served on the creative team of two GOP presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. Follow her on Twitter @MyraKAdams.

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