Swing States Law and Legal Definition

Swing states are those states in which the outcome of vote is uncertain or close. The most remarkable swing state is Missouri, that has backed every successful presidential candidate in the 20th Century. It carries only 11 votes in the electoral college whereas larger states carry more weight by bringing candidates closer to the 270 votes needed to win. In the most recent elections in 2000 and 2004, Florida and Ohio have been two of the most closely fought states. Each has a large number of electoral votes. However, in the 2008 elections, some states that were considered solidly Republican, like Virginia and North Carolina, became swing states.