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The new swing states

General elections come down to a handful of swing states, which are highlighted with their electoral votes below, but those states might fall differently in November. One result: Democrats might not need to win Florida.

General elections come down to a handful of swing states, which are highlighted with their electoral votes below, but those states might fall differently in November. One result: Democrats might not need to win Florida.

General elections come down to a handful of swing states, which are highlighted with their electoral votes below, but those states might fall differently in November. One result: Democrats might not need to win Florida.

Nevada

The fast-growing and increasingly Democratic-leaning Hispanic population makes it ripe to go blue. Since 2004, Republicans have lost their voter registration advantage to the Democrats.

Colorado

Dominated by the GOP in 2004, this state has flipped almost 180 degrees. Democrats now hold the governor's mansion, control the Legislature and dominate the congressional delegation.

New Mexico

Al Gore barely won in 2000, then Bush barely in 2004, but Democratic gains among Hispanics make this a prime target to flip back to the Democrats.

Ohio

The mother of all swing states in '04 has gone from leaning Republican to leaning Democratic. Marred by scandal, the Ohio GOP has imploded since 2004, with Democrats taking the governor's office, a U.S. Senate seat and the offices of attorney general, treasurer and secretary of state.

Pennsylvania

Once a critical swing state, it went for Gore and Kerry in back-to-back elections. Now, it's led by a popular Democratic governor, though it still is considered a battleground state.

Iowa

Bush narrowly won in '04, but again the tide has shifted toward the Democrats. It's telling that energized Iowans turned out far heavier for the Democrats' caucus this year than the Republicans'.
Missouri

Only once in the 20th century (Adlai Stevenson in 1956) has Missouri not picked the winner of the presidential race. Democrats have a strong frontrunner for Missouri governor and are well positioned.

Arkansas

If Hillary Rodham Clinton wins the nomination, Arkansas immediately looks bluer.

Virginia

Democrats have a real shot at chipping away some of the solidly Republican South here. Democrats held the governor's mansion in 2006, picked off a U.S. Senate seat and are expected to win the other Senate seat in November.

Florida

Gov. Charlie Crist on the ticket could take it out of play. But Democrats are looking stronger than they have in years, having picked up a Cabinet seat, two congressional seats and nine state House seats since 2004.

Michigan

Snubbed by the Democratic candidates along with Florida, Democrats could have some work to do in this megastate Kerry won narrowly in 2004.

Wisconsin

One of the few states Mike Dukakis won in 1988, Wisconsin has become steadily more conservative and is no longer reliably blue. Kerry barely won it last time.

Minnesota

Another swing state where Kerry eked out a win could get a big push to the Republican column if GOP Gov. Tim Pawlenty is chosen as John McCain's running mate.

The new swing states 03/16/08 [Last modified: Monday, March 17, 2008 7:18pm]

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