US Election: Mallard Forecast 24.10.2020
Debate: It was like Boris vs Corbyn
The final debate was seen by many as the Incumbent President`s last chance to save his Presidency. The debate was of much higher quality than the previous, though it was an extremely low bar after the debacle of last month’s debate. The President was more restrained in his approach, clearly hoping that Biden would trip over, as is common when Biden is left to speak uninterrupted.
The debate, in truth, was reminiscent of the December 2019 UK General Election debates between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn. Trump attempted to divert every question to the Hunter Biden saga. In much the same way Boris Johnson made everything about Brexit in 2019. Who can`t remember Prime Minister Johnson offering to gift Comrade Corbyn a copy of his withdrawal agreement for Christmas?
Like Jeremy Corbyn in 2019, Joe Biden looked exhausted. However, he probably just about passed the low bar Republicans foolishly created for him.
It is hard to say who won, the snap polls by American Broadcasters were unsurprisingly partisan. Both debates have been uneventful and quickly forgotten. It is unlikely either will impact the outcome of the Election.
From a personal point of view, Trump had the best of the debate. He trapped Biden on the US Oil Industry, which was rejuvenated under President Trump and has played a key part in the trade wars with China. Biden confessed he would he would stop Government subsidies for US Oil. It is hard to see how stopping US subsidies would not benefit America`s competitors on the International stage. Of which the knock-on effect, if the demand was lowered for US Oil, would be higher prices and reduced demand for Labour (less jobs). Given the current economic environment in the US, it was a poorly timed admission from the former Vice-President.
Ensuring the Hunter Biden story was given as much time as possible was clearly Trump`s strategy. Trump`s narrowing in the polls since the New York Post story broke shows it has impacted the Election. There was nothing new in the debates that was not already widespread news. Whilst damaging, Biden did not crumble under Trump`s interrogation. Therefore, it probably did no further damage.
The question of who won depends on how close you think the election is. If you are of the opinion that before Wednesday Joe Biden had over a 70% chance of winning, then Biden won the debate because he did not lose bad enough to overturn such a deficit. If you think the Election is on a knife edge, or that Trump is currently ahead, then you can be happy with Trumps performance.
Perhaps the best summary of the debate is this: it did not impact this Forecast!
Paths to Victory
Trump: It has been a good week for the Incumbent. National polls have tightened following the Hunter Biden story. State polling by Trafalgar and Zia in Michigan has showed that the race in Michigan could take people by surprise. If the Trafalgar (Trump+2) and Zia (Trump +4) polls are accurate then Trump does have a path to victory.
Trump has to win all of:
Trump then has to win one of the following:
Of course, Trump could still win if he drops North Carolina and wins Michigan and Wisconsin. However, the reason TX; FL; AZ; NC; GA are must wins, demographically, if Trump does not win in these states, it will suggest a trend that will make winning in MI; PA; WI impossible.
Biden: The route for the former Vice-President is much simpler. If he takes one of the must win Trump states he will win. Failing that, he must win the three other states in Trumps grasp.
- Alabama: Safe Republican, 9 Votes
- Alaska: Safe Republican, 3 Votes
- Arizona: Lean Republican, 11 Votes
- Arkansas: Safe Republican, 6 Votes
- California: Safe Democrat, 55 Votes
- Colorado: Safe Democrat, 9 Votes
- Connecticut: Safe Democrat, 7 Votes
- District of Columbia: Safe Democrat, 3 Votes
- Delaware: Safe Democrat, 3 Votes
- Florida: Lean Republican, 29 Votes
- Georgia: Lean Republican, 16 Votes
- Hawaii: Safe Democrat, 4 Votes
- Idaho: Safe Republican, 4 Votes
- Illinois- Safe Democrat, 20 Votes
- Indiana: Safe Republican, 11 Votes
- Iowa: Lean Republican, 6 Votes
- Kansas: Safe Republican, 6 Votes
- Kentucky: Safe Republican, 8 Votes
- Louisiana: Safe Republican, 8 Votes
- Maine (state-wide): Lean Democrat, 2 Votes
- Maine 1st District: Safe Democrat, 1 Vote
- Maine 2nd District: Lean Republican, 1 Vote
- Maryland: Safe Democrat ,10 Votes
- Massachusetts: Safe Democrat, 11 Votes
- Michigan: Lean Democrat, 16 Votes
- Minnesota: Safe Democrat, 10 Votes
- Mississippi: Safe Republican, 6 Votes
- Missouri: Safe Republican, 10 Votes
- Montana: Safe Republican, 3 Votes
- Nebraska: Safe Republican, 5 Votes
- Nevada: Lean Democrat, 6 Votes
- New Hampshire- Safe Democrat, 4 Votes
- New Jersey: Safe Democrat, 14 Votes
- New Mexico: Safe Democrat, 5 Votes
- New York: Safe Democrat, 29 Votes
- North Carolina: Lean Republican, 15 Votes
- North Dakota: Safe Republican, 3 Votes
- Ohio: Lean Republican, 18 Votes
- Oklahoma: Safe Republican, 7 Votes
- Oregon: Safe Democrat, 7 Votes
- Pennsylvania: Lean Democrats, 20 Votes
- Rhode Island: Safe Democrat 4 Votes
- South Carolina: Safe Republican, 9 Votes
- South Dakota: Safe Republican, 3 Votes
- Tennessee: Safe Republican, 11 Votes
- Texas: Safe Republican, 38 Votes
- Utah: Safe Republican, 6 Votes
- Vermont: Safe Democrat, 3 Votes
- Virginia: Safe Democrat, 13 Votes
- Washington: Safe Democrat, 12 Votes
- West Virginia: Safe Republican, 5 Votes
- Wisconsin: Lean Democrat, 10 Votes
- Wyoming: Safe Republican, 3 Votes
Biden to win Popular Vote by 5%