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Election 2020 (I)

October 28, 2020

Here we are again. I stopped posting amid the hopeless noise, but just for the record, here are some predictions. There may be follow-up posts, not sure.

US President:

The defining issue that makes 2020 different from 2016 is of course the disastrous response to the Covid-19 virus. The effect on the important swing state polls, not surprisingly, is that it has peeled ~10-15% of the age 65+ age group away from Trump, although varying by state.

I am in agreement with the conventional wisdom, predicting a win for Biden, with my electoral vote predictions mapped below [graphic generated at 270towin.com].

PA, NC, and FL are the most uncertain states in my estimation. The other swing states – MN, WI, MI, AZ, OH, NV – I considered to be ‘leaners’.

The arithmetic of this map allows Biden to lose PA+FL, and still squeak by with a margin of 4 electoral votes, since I’m giving him NC. This is important because Biden’s admirably direct comments about fracking might hurt him in PA among any voters that can still be swayed, although it’s not clear to me that there are more than a handful of those left.

The implication of being able to lose PA and still win, is that the pivotal state now changes to NC. So that is the one whose state polls should be most watched?! It is a state I am not as familiar with as PA, though I recently visited. The radio ads are running hot there, and the few locals I talked to seem pretty worked up, as would be expected. Unlike PA, NC also has a Senate race, whose polling [NC Senate polls, 538] can serve as another proxy. That polling has narrowed noticeably in the past month or two, from being a 5-10 point Dem advantage before that.

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Next, the US Senate. I did not put much research into this, beyond scanning through the state polling for the 5-6 closest ones to look for trends. So call it an uninformed guess.

I have a 52-48 Democratic majority, with map below. I would hedge by predicting a 25% each chance of either AZ or NC going Republican, so it could just as likely be 51-49 Dem, which would make all legislation hostage to the two most fiscally conservative Dem Senators, whoever they are.

And that’s it.

Hope this crazy year hasn’t been too awful for anyone who may be reading this. Stay healthy, and vote if you have not already done so.

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