Bloomberg by the Numbers: 40

Photograph by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

People wait in line to vote at the North Miami Public Library on Nov. 1, 2012 in Florida.

That’s how many states voted Democratic or Republican in each of the past three presidential elections.

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia voted Democratic for president in 2000, 2004 and 2008. They have a total of 242 electoral votes in this election, or 28 less than the majority needed to win the presidency.

President Barack Obama is favored to win most of these states. Republicans are targeting Wisconsin, the home state of Republican vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan, as they try to expand the map of competitive states to include Michigan, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

The 22 states that voted Republican in 2000, 2004 and 2008 have a total of 180 electoral votes. Republican nominee Mitt Romney is favored to win all of them on Nov. 6.

The 10 remaining states, with a total of 116 electoral votes, are Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia. Most of them are so-called swing states that strategists in both parties say will be decisive in next week’s balloting.

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