Definition of Bellwether State

What is a "bellwether state"? What is the definition of the term "bellwether state"?

As it applies to the US Presidential election, a "bellwether state" is a state that tends to give its electoral votes to the party that wins the election.

Definition of Bellwether State - Financial Dictionary - ElectionsPrior to the 2008 US Presidential election, Missouri was a prime example of a "bellwether state". Missouri typically gave its electoral votes to the party that would eventually win the election. This changed in 2008, when Missouri gave the nod to John McCain, despite the fact that Barack Obama eventually went on to win the election.

Due to its tendency to swing back and forth between Democrats and Republicans, a "bellwether state" is also known as a "swing state" or "battleground state". A state such as Texas, for instance, is not a "bellwether state" because it will vote for the Republican party every time. On the other hand, states such as Virginia and Nevada are attaining "bellwether state" status.

As you can probably imagine, Presidential candidates will lavish a great deal of money and time on "bellwether states", as they ultimately decide the election.

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