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banner Friday, 13 October, 2000, 14:40 GMT 15:40 UK
Swing states
Voting
Undecided in swing states
Swing states are, in the most simple terms, states in which the outcome of the vote is uncertain.

The classic swing state is Missouri, which has remarkably backed every successful presidential candidate in the 20th Century except Dwight Eisenhower in 1956.

Missouri has symbolic importance, and is a regular stop on the campaign trail, but in most election years is not seen as a must-win state because it carries only 11 votes in the electoral college.

Candidates usually prefer to devote their time, energy and cash to larger states in their pursuit of the magic 270 college votes needed to gain the White House.

But the race between Al Gore and George W Bush has become so tight that even the smallest states have entered the calculations of the respective campaign strategists.

So Missouri, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee are all receiving special attention.

And the biggest swing state this year is Florida with 25 votes up for grabs.

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21 Feb 00 | E-F
Electoral college
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