Get Educated: Knowledge is Power, Use It to Beat Bush.
What is a swing state? A swing state is a state where the outcome of the election is uncertain. There is no hard and fast definition of a swing state; we define swing states as states where the margin between Gore and Bush in the 2000 presidential election was less than 10%. Voting results in swing states determine the outcome of close elections. Registering voters in swing states is the most effective way to defeat Bush.
The Swing States
Click here for a table showing the results of the 2000 election by state.
Bush lost the popular vote in 2000. Al Gore received 537,149 more votes than George Bush! Why isn't Al Gore president? The answer is that the United States uses the Electoral College to elect our President rather than a direct popular vote.
What is the electoral college? When you cast your vote in the presidential election, you are voting for electors who cast the official votes for president and vice president. Collectively, these electors are known as the Electoral College. The candidate that wins the popular vote in a state receives all of the electoral votes from that state (with a few minor exceptions).
Why are swing states so important? In order to become President, a candidate must win at least 270 of the 538 electoral votes. The 20 swing states hold 213 electoral votes so a candidate must win in a significant number of swing states to win the election. As we saw in the 2000 presidential election, Florida, the largest swing state, determined the outcome of the election. Bush won the popular vote in Florida by only 537 votes! Every single vote counts, which is why we created Driving Votes.
Why do we have the Electoral College? The Founding Fathers created the Electoral College for two primary reasons:
If we didn't have the Electoral College, would we have swing states? No. If the President were elected by popular vote instead of via the Electoral College, swing states would not exist. In a popular vote system, each vote in the country would carry equal weight. The election would be determined by who won the popular vote, not by who won the electoral votes from each state. If we didn't have the Electoral College, candidates would tend to focus on the areas with the largest populations rather than swing states.
Is the Electoral College fair? Where can I learn more? We recommend the following sites to learn more about the Electoral College: