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What Are Blue, Red, and Swing States?

Some states almost always support one party – but some aren’t so easy to predict.

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Around election time, states are usually called “blue” or “red.”

Blue stands for the Democratic Party, so “blue states” support the Democrats. States like California, New York, and Massachusetts are considered dark blue states because they almost always vote for Democratic candidates for president.

Red is the color of the Republican Party, so “red states” usually vote Republican. States like Mississippi, Wyoming, and North Dakota are seen as deep red states.

“Purple” states have a mix of Democrat and Republican voters.

States that aren’t predictable are called “swing states” since they can swing to either party during an election. Either party has a chance at winning, and this makes swing states very important in an election. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina are swing states.

Candidates may think they can predict the votes of red and blue states, but they have to work hard to get swing states on their side for the vote.


Jose Backer, General Assignment Reporter, is a graduate of St. Michael's College and is currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Political Science. Born and raised in Southern California, he currently resides in the Pasadena area.

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