During the presidential election one term popped up over and over again: swing states. While elections may seem fairly cut and dry at first glance, they're actually lot more complicated than the phrase "every vote counts" might lead you to believe. Because the presidency is decided not by the nationwide popular vote but rather by the Electoral College, votes in some states can be more influential than votes in other states. Enter the swing state. But while voters in swing states may be courted more heavily by presidential candidates, not every swing state receives the same number of votes in the Electoral College. So, which swing state has the highest number of electors?
Since most states allocate their electoral votes using a winner-take-all system, so-called "tipping point voters" can have a major influence over presidential elections. This leads presidential candidates to pour their time and money into what are known as swing states, or states that have a history of "swinging" between the Democratic and Republican parties. In other words, swing states are not as predictable as states like California (which regularly votes Democratic) or Texas (which regularly goes Republican). In a swing state a small number of voters can tip the statewide vote – and thus the state's electors – into the favor of one presidential candidate.
While the list swing states can change over time, the general consensus is that there were 15 swing states at play in the 2016 presidential election: Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Altogether these states represent 177 of the 538 votes that will be cast in the Electoral College. But one swing state in particular sends a significantly higher number of electoral votes than the others.
With 29 electoral votes, Florida is the swing state with the most electors in the Electoral College. Next in line is Pennsylvania with 20 electors, followed by Ohio at 18 and Georgia (a swing state for 2016) at 16. In fact, Florida's 29 electors also make it one of the largest states in the Electoral College. It ties with New York as the state with the third highest number of electors.
In the 2016 presidential election, President-elect Donald Trump won Florida's 29 electors by a 1.2 percent margin, according to the New York Times. While Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton earned 47.4 percent of Florida's statewide vote, Trump won the state with 48.6 percent of the vote.