Swing voters are persuadable voters: voters who are not so solidly committed to one candidate or the other as to make all efforts at persuasion futile. This article examines the paradoxical position of swing voters in contemporary presidential elections. On the one hand, the number of swing voters in the U.S. electorate has been declining since at least the 1970s. Yet those that remain play a critical role in determining who gets elected president. Since neither party’s base vote constitutes a majority of the voters, and since the number of each party’s identifiers in the electorate has become increasingly equal, presidential general election campaigns will continue to be a struggle to win over the swing voters.
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