Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is favored to win the election on Tuesday, according to the latest forecast on Monday by FiveThirtyEight.
However, President Donald Trump still has a chance of about 10 percent to win the election, says American statistician Nate Silver, the website’s founder.
According to the latest forecast by FiveThirtyEight, Biden has a 90 percent chance of winning the election. “But remember, that doesn’t mean that there is no way for Trump to win. Trump may be the outsider, and he needs a big vote-bust in his favor, but bigger vote-busting mistakes have happened in the past.
“A 10 percent chance of winning, which Trump has according to our forecast, is about the same as the probability of it raining in downtown Los Angeles. And it actually rains there (downtown L.A. has about 36 rainy days per year, or about a 1:10 shot of a rainy day),” the website stated.
Pennsylvania could decide the election
Recent polls have shown that Biden is the leader in Pennsylvania. However, it was a narrow lead, Silver noted on Sunday.
“According to our forecast, Pennsylvania is the most likely tipping point state, and many of Biden’s chances at Electoral College depend on what happens in Pennsylvania. He leads Trump there by about 5 points in our survey average, but the lead is not as big as Biden might like,” explained the latest Five thirtyEight forecast.
The results of the latest Reuters/Ipsos weekly survey, released Sunday and conducted among 1,006 adults (including 673 likely voters) in Pennsylvania between October 27 and November 1, showed that 51 percent would vote for Biden while 44 percent would vote for Trump. The survey had a credibility interval of four percentage points.
popular vs. electoral vote
Silver notes Sonntag: “A large part of the reason why our model and the opinion of others that Trumpf can still win is the electoral college”. Trump has only a three-percent chance of winning the referendum, according to FiveThirtyEight’s analysis.
“But while a deficit of about 8 percentage points in the referendum is difficult to overcome – at the time of writing this article, Sunday at 7:30 p.m. ET, our model Biden predicts that he will win the referendum by 7.8 percentage points – a 5 point gap is much easier to overcome.
“And that is our current forecast in Pennsylvania: Biden will win by 4.7 points. Note the gap of about 3 points between the referendum and the result in Pennsylvania, the most likely tipping point state. This is similar to 2016 when Hillary Clinton won the referendum by about 2 points but lost the tipping point state of Wisconsin by just under 1 point,” Silver added.
If Biden wins the plebiscite by two to three percentage points, “Electoral College is about even. But if Biden wins the referendum by less than 2 points, Trump is a pretty strong favorite to win the election,” Silver explained.
However, FiveThirtyEight’s latest forecast also points out: “Unless Trump or Biden have a really good night on November 3, it’s quite unlikely that either of them will reach the 270 votes needed to win by the end of the night.
“It will all depend on how close some of the major battlefields are and whether a representative percentage of votes can be reported, which will not always be possible given the challenges of the pandemic,” the website added.
Risk of spoiling the ballots
“Democrats are much more likely to vote by mail than Republicans. In contrast, Republicans are much more likely to vote in person on election day, while early personal voting is somewhere in between,” Silver said.
The sharp increase in the number of people voting early or by mail in this year’s election also carries a high risk of “spoiling ballot papers” with various sources of electoral error that could potentially help tip the scales toward a trump card victory, he continued.
Some postal ballots may not arrive within the government deadlines and may face delays in processing, while other problems could cause further delays, such as sending “naked ballots” where voters forget to put their ballot in the additional secure envelope.
“Imagine, for example, that in a given state, the votes are split 50-50 in a vote between Biden and Trump. But two-thirds of Biden voters vote by mail, while two-thirds of Trump supporters vote in person, and the rate of spoilage of ballots by mail is 3 percent. That would be enough for Trump to win 50.8 to 49.2, which means you had a voting error of 1 or 2 points,” Silver said.
However, other factors could reduce the risk of losing the election, such as the Democrats sending in their ballots early. Surveys have shown that Democrats are more likely to drop their ballots at the mailboxes, which helps reduce the risk of a ballot being rejected, Silver wrote.
“According to the United States Elections Project, party registration on the mail ballots received so far favors the Democrats by 24 percentage points. But for ballots that have been requested but not yet received – those that may arrive too late – the gap between the parties is only 11 points in favor of the Democrats,” Silver said on Sunday.
The Hispanic vote
With regard to the 2016 election, the polls show that Trump has gained significant support among Hispanic voters. However, the support Biden enjoys among white voters, including those with or without college degrees, is still no greater, according to Silver.
He also pointed out that “while white voters without college degrees are more likely to be Republicans than white college graduates, the opposite is true for Hispanics.
“Let’s assume that Trump’s increase in Hispanic support is real, while Biden’s gains are not real among white voters without college degrees for whatever reason. This could make for a tough night for Biden: The lack of support among unversed white voters could cost him Pennsylvania, while a mediocre performance among Hispanics could keep Arizona and Florida in Trump’s column. Maybe Biden would win in Georgia or North Carolina, but that’s a much narrower path than he had planned.
Silver noted, however: “Overall, I don’t think there is any particular reason to distrust the polls. If anything, the polls have tended to underestimate Democratic support in recent elections in states like Nevada, which had a large number of Hispanic voters.
The following chart, prepared by Statista, illustrates the profit margins of the US presidential elections since 1980.