The race for the White House has raged for nearly two years now, with dozens of candidates crisscrossing the United States of America in search of voter support. Now there are only two major party candidates left standing, and their focus is on a small handful of battleground states.
When the 2014 mid-term elections ended and politicians and pundits turned their attention to the 2016 presidential race, conventional wisdom told us two things: Hillary Clinton would likely be her party’s nominee for president and Donald Trump likely would not.
For Clinton, it was a long and controversial road to fulfilling her prophecy. She claimed the Democratic Party nomination over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders thanks to advantages in fundraising, super delegates and – as we would later find out through an email hack – a boost from within the DNC.
Trump, on the other hand, entered a race with 16 other men and women – most of them seasoned and very popular politicians – and proceeded to turn the Republican Party, the political world and conventional wisdom on their collective ear.
Now the race is down to just the two of them. And the number of states in play has dwindled, as well.
Real Clear Politics, which keeps an eye on all things electoral, lists 14 states as “Toss Ups” according to averages of recent polling in those states. Some, like Florida and Ohio, are givens. Others, like Georgia and Arizona, are surprising.
So how do these battleground races play out? And, on the flip side, which states are the safest for each of the candidates?
Here are the power rankings of battleground states from number 50 (mortal locks to vote one way) all the way to number one (the most hotly contested) in this 2016 presidential race.