Friday, October 30, 2020

Polls, With The Usual Caveats

With four days before election day, and after over 75 million voters have already cast their ballots, the data gurus at are projecting that former VP Joe Biden has an 89 percent chance of winning the election. They simulate the election 40,000 times to judge who has the best chance of winning. Their projections indicate that Biden will end up with an overwhelming 346 to 192 margin over white supremacist demagogue and con man Donald "COVID Donnie" Trump.  Per FiveThirtyEight:

"We’ve gotten a lot of new polls in the past couple of days, but so far, there’s little evidence of the race tightening. If anything, Biden is continuing to make gains in the Midwest (1.7 points, on average, since the final debate)."

Lest you become complacent with this analysis, they provide a caution to watch Pennsylvania as an example:

"Take Pennsylvania, the state our forecast currently thinks is most likely to decide the election. Biden doesn’t have much extra cushion in polls there, so a 2016-magnitude polling error could deliver the state to Trump. Remember, Trump has a meaningful chance of winning the election, per our forecast — a little worse than the chances of rolling a 1 on a six-sided die and a little better than the chances that it’s raining in downtown Los Angeles. And remember, it does rain there. (Downtown L.A. has about 36 rainy days per year, or about a 1-in-10 shot of a rainy day.)"

Still, a 1-in-10 shot is a pretty dramatic odd. What they can't factor in is Republican pre-and-post election interference with the vote count, something they've been engineering for months, planning on a slim Trump loss that they can cheat into victory. The spate of court cases filed to skew the vote Trump's way are the most glaring example of their cynical vote-robbing efforts. So a big, undeniable blue wave turnout will help to neuter their despicable efforts.

The operative word in all of this is "projection." If people responding to the pollsters don't cast their ballots and sit out the election, it's 2016 all over again. And for those with ballot in hand, it's too late to mail them in. TOO LATE.  So you must take them to an official ballot drop box / take them to your county board of elections, or vote in person safely, either early voting or on election day. Election information can be found here, from early voting sites and times to location of ballot drop boxes. 

BONUS:   Election guru Charlie Cook says "Don't Expect A Contested Election" --

What I am wondering is if this will be one or the rarest species of national elections—a wave election in a presidential year ending in a zero, meaning it will reverberate for a decade thanks to the coming redistricting. There are not a dozen Republican Senate seats that could fall, as Democrats suffered in 1980, but Joe Biden may well replicate Ronald Reagan’s 10-point victory over President Carter. The odds are it will be a bit less, perhaps in the 53 to 44 percent range, with 3 percent going to independents and write-ins, half of the number from four years ago. 
We take nothing for granted.  We run through the tape until all the polls close on Tuesday.  We make the margins so big that Republican chicanery can't undo them.


bt1138 said...

There's no chance that Biden voters will sit this out in complacency, like happened in 2016. If Trump had a 1% chance we'd still be afraid he could win again - HE DID IT LAST TIME DIDN'T HE?!

Most Anti-Trump voters would swim through a pool filled with puss and crocodiles to vote this time around. And with lots of people sort of not fully employed or away at college (cough) the pool of anti-Trump voters will be unusually large.

Mart said...

We mailed our ballots Monday morning. Wife's ballot was in yesterday, mine is still outstanding. So yeah, don't mail your ballot.

donnah said...

It's unlike any election in our history. My husband and I are caregivers for two elderly moms, so we voted absentee to avoid exposure. We dropped our ballots off at the Board of Elections and checked them online, and they're in. It's not as satisfying as voting in person, but it's safe!

Mart said...

Also too if you have a mail in or absentee ballot and decide to vote in person take it with you for them to destroy or you won't be able to vote.