Biden is a Huge Favorite to Win the Election

Mish

Nate Silver's model shows Biden is favored to win the election in November with odds of 71-29.

Model Forecast

The FiveThirtyEight Model shows Biden has a 71% chance of winning the election.

My seat-of-the-pants forecast was 70%, nearly the same. 

The FiveThirtyEight (538) model ran 40,000 simulation. 

I ran zero simulations. Instead I looked at polls in swing states and concluded Trump's path to victory was very narrow.

40,000 Simulations

Every Outcome in Our Simulations

Winding Path to Victory

The Winding Path to Victory

That is precisely how I see things at the moment. Trump has moved up in recent North Carolina polls. 

Biden's running mate pick of Kamala Harris may swing North Carolina, Ohioa, and Georgia into the Trump column. 

It could cost Biden the election, but by a 7-3 margin, likely not.

On July 1, 538 had Biden an 80% but his model was only released today.

Can You Trust the Polls?

Hillary Clinton led in the polls in 2016, right? Yes. But Clinton had only a small advantage in most surveys — Trump’s win was well within the range of normal polling error.

As elections analyst Geoffrey Skelley wrote last week, Biden’s lead over Trump has already topped Clinton’s post-convention peak. Biden also enjoys more overall support than Clinton. In other words, there’s a genuine difference between Biden’s position now and Clinton’s four years ago.

10 Key States Biden vs Trump 538 Odds

  1. Arizona: Biden 55 Trump 45
  2. Florida: Biden 64 Trump 35
  3. Georgia: Biden 34 Trump 66
  4. Iowa: Biden 32 Trump 68
  5. Michigan: Biden 81 Trump 19
  6. Minnesota: Biden 72 Trump 28
  7. North Carolina: Biden 49 Trump 51
  8. Ohio: Biden 45 Trump 55
  9. Pennsylvania: Biden 73 Trump 27
  10. Wisconsin: Biden 70 Trump 30

Trump's Problem

  • Trump desperately needs to hold Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, and Ohio. North Carolina is nearly a 50-50 shot. 
  • Trump also needs to win Arizona, Florida, and either Wisconsin or Minnesota (or some other similar upset). 

That is not impossible but it is unlikely. 

Minnesota Shift

Minnesota Shift

Arizona Shift

Arizona Shift

Florida Shift

Florida Shift

I believe Harris subtracts from Biden's chances especially in states like Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota, Georgia, and Arizona, perhaps even Florida.

Not a 2016 Replay

For many months, I have commented this is not a replay of 2016. Trump was never well liked, but many people in both parties despised Hillary.

Trump won in 2016 for five reasons.

  1. People hated Hillary more than Trump
  2. Trump was an unknown risk that swing voters were willing to take a chance on
  3. Hillary ran a very poor campaign
  4. A fantastic campaign slogan: Make America Great Again
  5. At the last minute, Comey rescued trump with an attack on Hillary and her email server.

Points 1-4 got Trump into the ballpark. It still took Point 5 to cross the finish line.

Despite all of those things Trump barely won as measured by tiny margins of victory in several critical swing states.

Understanding Political Polls 

If you believe the GOP is seriously underweighted in the polls, you are mistaken.

For details, please see Understanding Political Polls: Is the GOP Underweighted?

What About Enthusiasm?

Another misconception is that Trump supporters are more enthusiastic than Biden supporters. 

If you take negative enthusiasm into account Trump is on the Short End of the Enthusiasm Gap.

Polls will likely narrow, just not by enough.

Mish

Comments (125)
No. 1-29
Misgivings
Misgivings

So why would he not pick a more moderate running mate. Seems like he's asking for a confrontation.

Sechel
Sechel

I did not favor Kamala Harris being the VP pick but I think she's the person Trump lest wanted. If Trump wanted to paint the progressive label on Biden then the best VP pick would have been Warren the clear progressive and Rice would have made a great Bhengazi target. While I don't think Harris makes for the best VP I think she gives Trump the biggest problem. She's also good on social media at a time when in person campaigning is not an option. She's purportedly good on zoom and social media

I always recognize this. Back when Klobuchar would have been the best on the electoral map helping with the mid-west. Rice has the most ability with her foreign policy and national experience. She's just never campaigned before.

Anna 7
Anna 7

THE ELECTION IS OVER. YOU LOST.

The election is already over. We will spend more on war. More on zombie corporations. More to lobbyists. More to the rich. We will continue illegally occupying countries and invading new ones. More on treating Americans like they, too, are a conquered people to be watched over and lied to.

Either trump or biden has already won. How did they win? For the past year, all media aligned with the state told you who was electable. You accepted it.

Now, go complete your performance in the farce — by voting on election day.

jeff44
jeff44

LOL. And Hillary started Election Night with a 95% probability of winning the election in 2016. Joe Biden is a walking corpse. There's no way I can vote for him.

Mish
Mish

Editor

I banned Montana33 for saying this: "Mish would not call a white, male Senator with the exact same resume as Kamala an opportunist. He is biased against women and/or women of color and he probably has no idea."

In addition, I removed every comment he ever made (in progress - It may take a while but is automatic). I will not tolerate such accusations.

I do not have the time to sort through everything such idiots have ever said.

For the record, I praised Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms

Good Riddance to Montana33 - I give a lot of leeway, not that.

Harris is a "nauseating opportunist" and I will prove it in a followup post given many questioned my use of the word "nauseating".

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

I still think DJT has a puncher's chance (40%?).

If stock market continues relentless upward surge
If Second Wave does not show pre election

There will be 3 face to face debates. I expect DJT to clean his clock (sure, fact checking will reveal DJT making many mistakes, but he's a in the gutter bully tailor made for debating where optics matter most)... also, I think Biden will at points end up stammering or have brain freeze (ie: looking OLD).

Bungalow Bill
Bungalow Bill

Trump won by such narrow margins in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania in 2016. It's highly unlikely the strong Democrat parties in those states aren't energized right now and aren't going to have some of the best get out the vote efforts we have ever seen. Clearly, they understand the impact of their failures in 2016...

These three states were always going to be tough for Trump to win without a polarizing figure like Hillary and some help from James Comey.

BLUEWIN
BLUEWIN

It really isn't going to make any difference who is elected as the next President . . . there is just too many problems to fix and no real desire to fix them . . . Good Luck !

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

I'd say you're on the money Mish. I relate to the commenters who said nothing will get a whole lot better just because we have a changing of the guard....but I do think Mr. Trump lacks respect for our political process and the US Constitution...which is all we ever really had to make us any greater than anywhere else. I don't want to see the Republic destroyed by someone who puts his own interests above those of the country. For that reason I will hold my nose and vote for Biden and Harris, neither of whom I like. I'm a long time fan (a decade maybe) and this is my first comment, I think. I appreciate your views...and not just because I'm always 100% in agreement. Thanks for all your do.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

I think those states you put in Trump column could easily swing to Biden because of Harris and higher African-American turnout. Women will also have higher turnout. Trump didn't even get the most votes in 2016. He happen to win because he flipped about 10 critical voting districts that Obama won in 2012. Those voters are independents and they are tired of Trump by a large margin. Harris is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Trump will likely be prosecuted after he loses the election and flee to Russia or some other country that will protect him.

Sechel
Sechel

A surrogate on the news billing Harris as a co-President. That got shot down by Michael Steele. This is the big fear. Can Harris stay in the VP lane. Its am important lane but it's not President. This is something I'm going to watch

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

I have a prediction on what will happen on or near election day and after for Trump to stay in office:

  • Russia hacks the power grid of the US and power goes down across the country prior to election day
  • Trump tries suspend the election but no one listens to him
  • Trump decrees by executive order that there is a national emergency and voting will be extended until the day before electoral college votes in January.

Putin has already started again:

Brother
Brother

Trump will win in 2020 for five reasons.

  1. People hate Joe and Kamila more than Trump, hate is alive and well.
  2. Kamila is an unknown risk that swings extreme left, voters will vote Trump.
  3. Joe ran a very poor campaign
  4. A fantastic campaign slogan: Make America Great Again part II
  5. October surprise old Joe bits the dust…rip
Brother
Brother

Still whining about losing.

Bam_Man
Bam_Man

No conventions yet, no debates yet, Joe hasn’t even come out of his basement yet.
God only knows how much further he has deteriorated while down there.
Way, way too early to be making these kinds of predictions.

awc13
awc13

my simulations show that biden has a 99% chance of winning

Ted R
Ted R

Nate Silver was wrong last time. He will be wrong again.

lol
lol

Trump thinks he can pull an Obama ie not getting much done,not getting really anything accomplished cept a crapload of red ink,then pretend your way to a 2nd 4 year tour.Being incompetent and black is not nearly the same as being incompetent and white!

Roto1711
Roto1711

Biden and Harris = Obama and Biden, same platform = a disaster for our country.

Mish
Mish

Editor

mcgoverntm
mcgoverntm

What will happen if/when there is a face-to-face debate with millions of voters watching? I expect the DNC will replace Biden rather than crash and burn.

BaronAsh
BaronAsh

538 is a very skewed operation. However, the betting markets agree.
That said, this is a very one-off type situation and 3 months is a long time.

Meanwhile in Germany a large group of doctors announced that Covid is a hoax and that most of the additional deaths are closed from having closed down normal medical services - something I suggested here to Mish in another thread.

Covid is real but it ain't the huge great killer it's been hyped to be, though clearly it's nasty for already very sick people.
Prophylactics exist but are being deliberately suppressed. I used to take HCQ for a chronic condition - can't get it any more. Maybe for years into the future that will remain the case.

So that's what I mean by unusual situation. We have an economic shut-down happening as part of a long-term political coup masquerading as a health emergency. What happens if this somehow becomes common knowledge? For that to happen, the MSM will have to be discredited. For that to happen, the attacks against Trump ab initio will have to discredited. For that to happen, a power higher than the DOJ will have to be involved. All of which is highly unlikely of course.

Meanwhile, intelligent people go to places like 538, partly to assure themselves that basically everything is normal and once this virus vaccine comes back - after the election of course - things will be just fine. Statistics work. Aberrations self-correct. We'll be hunky dory in 2021. The social order which has been largely broken will come together again just fine.

Pity about all those people dying because we closed down the healthcare industry to take care of a pandemic. But they were going to die anyway, right? I mean: we're all going to die, it's just a matter of when not if. So no harm, no foul. That's why Fauci won't get fired. He did a great job scaring the country into breaking itself apart. Talk about dis-ease!

It is extraordinary that things are so out of wack that large numbers of people think that graft-ridden professional politicians like Biden and Harris represent a move back to decency and good government.

The nation is on a quasi psychotic bender!

Thalamus
Thalamus

If Biden is elected, and Kamala is one step from running the country, the deep state will have won a huge battle to accelerate their Agenda 2030 goals. I would imagine the Trump team will have lots of Comey type revelations towards November that will switch the odds quickly to another 4 years for the Trump Admin. Everything is a big psyop afterall, its just who's best at it.

MorningCoffee
MorningCoffee

Wow, these are the same odds Silver had just before last election. No question, Hillary in a landslide!

RonJ
RonJ

Nate Silver's model.

I remember Ferguson's model had over 2 million Americans dying of Covid.

Models don't vote, people do. I remember the criticisms of Silver last time around.
Today's polls do not tell anyone what will happen on election day.

Harris was once the odds on favorite to win the DNC nomination. One comment by Tulsi Gabbard and Harris faded away. She dropped out before the first primary.
Anything can happen between now and November 3.

American footballer
American footballer

Really enjoyed your blog for quite a while Mish but lately there is an emerging anti-trump bias. The election is a toss up at the moment and it's hard to come to some of these conclusions before the debates. If Biden fails to show up for the debate, the election is over for him. Anything else is premature

Sechel
Sechel

I question whether the polls capture two things.
-Trump's post office fiasco
-A successful DNC convention with the party united

Unlike in 2016 I see Biden healing and bridging the divide with progressives. They won't stay home this time. I also think the Post Office Fiasco has hurt Trump.

I've also never seen such a concerted effort to peel away never Trumpers with ads from the LIncoln Grouup and enorsements from Generals and leaders both at the convention and before. Sure Trump will still get the majority of Republicans but I think he loses some low single digit numbers here and when you factor in the slim margins he won by in 2016 it hurts.

And it may be minor but the Senate report by the Select Intelligence Comittee was damning. North Carolina was always a toss-up.

MATHGAME
MATHGAME

Reply to BaronAsh: RE: "I take it from all your replies that you approve of ..."

How can I approve or disapprove your straw-man (at least so far) scenarios?

You stated previously that you've been waiting for indictments, trials, convictions, jail-terms, even executions ... Did I miss something? or are we all still waiting for those things? Let me know.

And BTW, Trump himself has done a far better job than his enemies of going after many of his associates ... in fact, there are very few Trump has not gone after and terminated. All it seems to take to get that ball rolling is "I'm not sure I agree with you on that, Mr. President"

Though I'm sure "dirty tricks" including downright illegal activities (whether it's "alleged" voter fraud by Democrats or "alleged" voter suppression by Republicans or "alleged" voter intimidation by all of them as just some of a myriad examples) have been going on since the beginning of the country, who of which party in the modern era would have been the first to be impeached had he not resigned?

Which party went after Bill Clinton for actions that while morally repugnant to me and many others hardly constituted "crimes" worthy of impeachment ... oh yeah, the lying to Congress? just as stupid as his actions within the White House ... but (admittedly without evidence) I would bet that quite a few other Presidents have been involved in similar morally repugnant actions and simply were discreet or clever enough to avoid detection ... or any possible accusers were paid off or made to "disappear" .. you know, sort of like Stormy Daniels.

And in the area of "dirty tricks" or even actions that could cross over into sedition or "treason" (although not legally apart from wartime aid to enemies), I think history has shown quite clearly that "what goes around, comes around". So the next time the controlling party of the House is not the party of the President I expect we can see more of the same, or even escalation.

RE: "As I said: the Republic is toast."

Actually, Baron, your previous statement was "YOUR Republic is pretty much toast."

An invitation to speculation ...