The Final Campaign Push: Lots of Stops, But Few States

Last Monday, FairVote released our 2016 general election presidential campaign tracker. This tracker, which has been regularly used this fall by National Popular Vote, looks at where major party candidates for president and vice-president have been rallying their supporters at events that are open to the public, free and intended to influence local voters. Our data for the tracker is based on local news reports and the campaigns’ public schedules.

As anyone familiar with current Electoral College rules would expect, the vast majority of general election campaigning occurs in swing states; that is, states with roughly equal numbers of voters who prefer Democrats and Republicans in presidential races. However, it is still remarkable just how little attention solidly partisan states get. So far this year 92.5% of campaign activity has occurred in just 11 projected swing states. Moreover, more than half of this activity has taken place in just four states: the large swing states of Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, as shown below:

State

Campaign Events

Percent of Total Events

Florida

48

16.4

Ohio

43

14.7

Pennsylvania

42

14.3

North Carolina

40

13.6

Subtotal

173

59.2

The Clinton campaign has only made two campaign stops outside of the eleven states that are projected to be highly competitive. One was to Nebraska’s second congressional district, which in fact can swing an electoral vote vote —Nebraska and Maine allocate some of their Electoral College votes according to winners of congressional districts. The other was a union rally in Illinois, which likely was chosen due to being close to the border of nearby swing state Ohio.

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Editor’s note: This article, written by Theodore Landsman, originally published on FairVote’s blog.

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