The 2004 Election: Swing Voters

A Look at Key 'Battleground' States in the Presidential Election

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President Bush campaigns in Pennsylvania. Credit: Reuters

President Bush speaks at the Main Line Y.M.C.A. in Ardmore, Pa. Reuters hide caption

itoggle caption Reuters
John Kerry Campaigns in Florida. Credit: Corbis

John Kerry campaigns in Florida. Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Corbis

We often hear that every vote counts, but in the 2004 election, some votes count more than others. The states with large numbers of independent voters will see a surge of attention — and advertising — from the presidential candidates.

The roughly 18 "battleground states" include Pennsylvania, Missouri, Ohio, West Virginia, Nevada, Minnesota and, of course, Florida. President Bush visited Pennsylvania this week and Sen. John Kerry is currently campaigning in West Virginia.

NPR's Neal Conan and guests look at swing voters. Who are they? Where do they live, and what can a Republican or Democrat do to woo them off the fence?


Ron Elving, NPR political editor

Joshua Green, senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly and contributing editor of The Washington Monthly

Bill McInturff, partner and co-founder of Public Opinion Strategies, a leading Republican polling company

Dan Payne, Democratic media consultant and presidential campaign analyst



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