For each of the last seven election cycles since the 1990s, the closest presidential election contest has been held in the South (Georgia in 1992, Kentucky in 1996, Florida in 2000 and 2012) or the Midwest (Wisconsin in 2004, Missouri in 2008, Michigan in 2016). The Northeast region has hosted the nation’s most competitive race just once since 1940 (Massachusetts in 1980).  The most recent Western state to make this list was Washington in 1988.


  1. Nikoli Orr on October 28, 2019 at 12:27 am

    1. The Show-Me State is arguably as much a ‘Southern’ state as a ‘Midwestern’ state – but then so would the Sunshine State.

    2. This list would be comprised of entirely different States, were the “closest” ones defined in terms of NUMERICAL votes (e.g. NM had the ‘closest shave’ for 2000 election; the raw vote differential of it was less than that of FL).

    3. Based on both history and current trends, the Wolverine State seems sure not to be the “closeset shave” state in 2020. FL yet again? PA? (D-dominant SEPTA and Pittsburgh regions closely balanced against the Alabama-esque “T”); WI? (Scott Walker barely lost last year; also, the supreme court seat elections also reflect the competitiveness, with the leftish contender prevailing last year and the rightwing contender triumphing earlier this year); AZ? (either THE most-closely or at least one of the most closely contested, way back in LBJ v Goldwater of 1964)

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