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Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump bring unique strengths and weaknesses to their general-election clash. But after months of polling, the Electoral College landscape on which they will compete largely mirrors the one that has determined the presidency in the past four cycles.
POLITICO's analysis of polling data suggests 11 states will determine the next president: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. All were battleground states in the previous two elections. But that doesn’t mean the map is constant: As the states’ demographics change, and the parties’ relative appeal among various groups transforms, some states move toward one party or the other over the long term.
While those changes — combined with the unusual nature of Trump’s campaign — add an element of uncertainty to the campaign, most pollsters agree that Clinton and the Democrats will enter the general election with a perceptible advantage: Of the 11 states most likely to determine the victor, President Barack Obama won all 11 in 2008, and 10 of the 11 in 2012.