US Election: Mallard Forecast 31.10.2020

Trump Biden Other
Current Outcome Forecast

RIP Polling & Data Science?

The most nervous people in the US after the final ballot is cast will be the two candidates’ camps, closely followed by pollsters and data scientists. Credibility for data scientists took a hit after the 2016 US Election. Thirty-Eight-Five, New York Times, The Economist and The New Statesman all had Trump as the underdog on Election Day in 2016, with his perceived chances as low as just 9%. You only have to look at the comments under every forecast announcement that Biden is in the lead to realise this hasn’t been forgotten. The industry is understandably nervous, pollster and data scientist, Frank Luntz, told Fox News that if Trump wins his ‘profession is done’. Luntz went as far to say that even if Biden wins by a small margin, the industry will still suffer.

The same can be said of the polling forecasters. Who go out of their way to explain how they have made corrections to their formulas since 2016 to reduce the likelihood of such an error. It is, however, not enough to convince people to keep faith with polls.

Even some Superforcasters, three to my knowledge, make Trump the favourite, despite National Polling Averages showing Biden with a +8% lead.

We have consistently explained throughout this election cycle that anecdotal polling, such as priority policy indicators, and questions such as: Who are your neighbours voting for; Who do you think will win in your state, have favoured Trump. Which is why, despite agreeing that Biden`s campaign looks propitious, we see the race as a little closer.

Paths to Victory

Trump: The path for victory for Donald Trump has not changed since last week (outlined below). Though, it is becoming increasingly apparent that Trump will not win Wisconsin. With rising Covid-19 cases and subsequent rising polls in Biden`s favour. There is hope in Pennsylvania and Michigan for Trump. Pennsylvania has seen a narrowing in the polls since the final debate. Pennsylvania has a rich oil industry, Biden announcing that he would stop Federal oil subsidies was unlikely to boost his popularity. Two polls have returned for the Keystone State this week, the Public Polling Company falling to Biden +7, with Trafalgar Group falling to Trump.

Trafalgar Group Polling has also given Trump hope in Michigan. For the past month, the Trafalgar Group have consistently returned polls showing  not only showing the Incumbent leading but increasing his lead throughout the month. It is worth pointing out that other polls have returned Biden leads in the Great Lakes State, which appears to be Trumps best likely tipping point, if he is to win.

Trump has to win all of:

  • Texas
  • Florida
  • Arizona
  • North Carolina
  • Georgia

Trump then has to win one of the following:

  • Michigan
  • Pennsylvania
  • Wisconsin

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. According to the Thirty-Eight-Five, Biden is leading in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. Which is why it is hard to deny the Biden looks propitious.

Seat Projections:

  • 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

Trump: 260

Biden: 278

Biden to win Popular Vote by 5%.

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