Identifying the 2020 Battleground States

When we forecast the 2020 electoral map based on the 2018 midterm election results, it becomes very clear that President Trump must wage a two-front war to win re-election in a new set of 2020 battleground states: He must defend the Rust Belt states that sealed his victory in 2016, also defend against clear Republican erosion in the Sunbelt.

As former Clinton political director Doug Sosnik told Axios just after the 2018 elections: “Changing demographics and Trump have blown up the electoral map that has dominated American politics since 1992.”

Looking Ahead to the 2020 Election

Sosnik projects that there could be more tossup states in the South and Southwest than in the Midwest — with almost twice the number of electoral votes at stake.

He notes that the midterm elections also showed “that without Hillary atop the ticket, Midwest states like Wisconsin are tough for Trump, and Southern states with rising Hispanic populations are slowly growing more Democratic.”

However, Sosnik added this cautionary note: “The president’s voters don’t always admit to pollsters that they like him. And he ran better in tossup states than his national average.”

The 2020 Battleground States

Below is an interactive version of the map presented by Sosnik, with red and blue states and the battleground states he identified in grey.

You can use it as the basis for your own electoral college forecast. Or, you can use the current consensus electoral map based on the latest forecasts and polls.


Republicans: Democrats: Tossup: