The Swing States That Will Determine Who Wins the 2020 Election

Donald Trump's fate is in the hands of these major Electoral College votes.

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(Image credit: DESIGN BY MORGAN MCMULLEN)

With the general election quickly approaching on November 3, it's important to understand where to focus our efforts. If we want to save our democracy and create a progressive America, not only will we need to remove Donald Trump from office, but we'll also need to keep the House of Representatives blue and flip the Senate blue. The former currently holds the most diverse class of representatives (opens in new tab) our country has seen in the legislative body's 230-year history. The latter, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is preventing us from passing bi-partisan laws, like H.R.8 (opens in new tab) requiring universal background checks, that will save American lives.

With the help of Swing Left (opens in new tab)—a national grassroots organization founded after the 2016 election—we can make a difference by paying attention to the 12 Super States, (opens in new tab) a.k.a. the swing states, that are comprised of mixed populations (urban, suburban, rural, etc.) and tend to flip between red and blue each election cycle. This includes Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin.

"Swing states are the most critical states in the upcoming election. They're essentially the tipping point of who's going to win the electoral college, then win the presidency," explains Swing Left National Field Director Marisa Kanof. "You look at the 50 states and you have the 15 to 20 that Democrats are going to win and the 15 to 20 that Republicans are going to win. These states in the middle...you win enough of them and you win the presidency."

With the increase in voting by mail this election season, we likely won't know the results of the election (opens in new tab) on November 4, which is why record voter turnout is key. (You can register to vote here (opens in new tab).) The first step, though, is being aware of the states that will determine the fate of our country, then (virtually) engaging with voters, volunteering, and fundraising for campaigns in these areas. Here, Marie Claire and Swing Left outline the swing states that we should be targeting in November and beyond with specific goals for each of them.

Arizona

Arizona map

(Image credit: Marie Claire)

Goals:

1) Flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Martha McSally. She's running (opens in new tab) against Captain Mark Kelly (opens in new tab), who's the husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.

2) Win the state’s 11 Electoral College votes

3) Break unified Republican control of the state government by flipping one or both state legislative chambers

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Colorado

Colorado map

(Image credit: Future)

Goals:

1) Flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Cory Gardner. He's running against former governor John Hickenlooper (opens in new tab).

2) Win the state’s nine Electoral College votes

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Florida

Florida map

(Image credit: Future)

Goals:

1) Win the state’s 29 Electoral College votes

2) Break unified Republican control of the state government by flipping the Florida State House

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Georgia

Georgia map

(Image credit: Future)

Goals:

1) Flip both U.S. Senate seats up for election

2) Compete for the state’s 16 Electoral College votes

3) Break unified Republican control of the state government by flipping the Georgia State House

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Iowa

Iowa map

(Image credit: Future)

Goals:

1) Flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Joni Ernst. She's running against Theresa Greenfield (opens in new tab).

2) Compete for the state’s six Electoral College votes

3) Break unified GOP control of the state government by flipping the Iowa State House

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Maine

Maine map

(Image credit: Future)

Goals:

1) Flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Susan Collins. She's running against Sara Gideon (opens in new tab).

2) Win the state’s four Electoral College votes

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Michigan

Michigan map

(Image credit: Future)

Goals:

1) Win the state’s 16 Electoral College votes

2) Flip control of the Republican-led Michigan State House

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North Carolina

North Carolina map

(Image credit: Future)

Goals:

1) Flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Thom Tillis. He's running against Cal Cunningham (opens in new tab).

2) Win the state’s 15 Electoral College votes

3) Break Republican control of the state legislature by flipping one or both chambers

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Ohio

Ohio map

(Image credit: Future)

Goals:

1) Compete for the state’s 18 Electoral College votes

2) Curb Republican control of the state government by breaking the GOP’s legislative supermajority in the Ohio State House

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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania map

(Image credit: Future)

Goals:

1) Win the state’s 20 Electoral College votes

2) Break Republican control of the state legislature by flipping one or both chambers

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Texas

Texas map

(Image credit: Future)

Goals:

1) Flip the U.S. Senate seat currently held by John Cornyn. He's running against MJ Hegar (opens in new tab).

2) Compete for the state’s 38 Electoral College votes

3) Break unified GOP control of the state government by flipping the Texas State House

LEARN MORE (opens in new tab)

Wisconsin

Wisconsin map

(Image credit: Future)

Goals:

1) Win the state’s 10 Electoral College votes

2) Protect Democratic Governor Tony Evers’ veto power by preventing GOP supermajorities in the Wisconsin State Senate and State Assembly

3) Lay the groundwork to flip the state legislature in 2022

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If you want to help make a difference, whether you live in a swing state or not, find out how to volunteer for Swing Left and invest in a progressive future here (opens in new tab).

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Rachel Epstein is an editor at Marie Claire, where she writes and edits culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also manages the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game, finding a new coffee shop, or analyzing your cousin's birth chart—in no particular order.