How fewer swing states in play distorts policymaking

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In the razor-thin 1960 presidential election, John F. Kennedy campaigned in 49 states. Richard M. Nixon visited all 50. The current contest is just as close and intense, but the candidates have campaigned in only 10 states since the political conventions. There are towns in Ohio that have received more attention than the entire West Coast

… There is evidence that the current system is depressing turnout, distorting policy, weakening accountability and effectively disenfranchising the vast majority of Americans, notes Adam Liptak.

In 2008, voter turnout in the 15 states that received the bulk of the candidates’ attention was 67 percent. In the remaining 35 states, it was six points lower. That disparity increases the chances that one candidate will prevail in the Electoral College while another wins the popular vote… there is also reason to think that the voices of people who live in swing states are listened to more attentively and that their concerns are more likely to influence policy and spending.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.