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WaPo: “Democrats risk overstating Biden’s chances of victory — as many did in 2016.”

3 min read

At WaPo, Phillip Bump throws more cold water on our optimism, but we all need to be confronted with the probabilities. Try Bump’s interactive tools to convince yourself of the quantitative realities.

There will be Senate-flipping and a Biden landslide, but there still and always remain possible bad news. James Carville claims it’s “not going to be close”. But there’s still three weeks, and it’s still about swing states. Trump still has not terrible odds of winning. GOTV, damn it.

Trump could win. But at this point he’s not very likely to.

At the moment, the FiveThirtyEight forecast has Trump faring a bit worse than he was at the end of the contest in 2016. His odds at the moment are 14 percent, which are not great. But, then, they’re not terrible. Pick heads or tails and flip a coin three times. You have slightly less of a chance of being right on all three coin flips than Trump does of winning reelection, according to FiveThirtyEight. Unlikely — but if it happens you’re not going to lose your mind over it.


All of this is a long-winded way of saying something that you have already heard: Biden is in good shape, but Trump could still win. He could win if there are errors in the polls (though they would have to be more significant than the errors in 2016), and he could still win if the polls shift to his advantage as they did late in the 2016 contest (though that hasn’t happened to any significant extent so far this year).
He could also win if he successfully convinces Americans that he did win and manages to translate that into a termination of counting ballots. The mechanics of that are admittedly murky, depending either on compliant legislatures or judges or grimmer scenarios involving interventions by Trump supporters as the votes are being counted.…



— G. Elliott Morris (@gelliottmorris) October 13, 2020


We must caution that the polls – particularly some swing state polls – severely undercounted Trump supporters in 2016. We are not certain, despite assurances, that they they have corrected this​. Additionally, they may be over-counting Democratic support (more people may say they will vote for Biden than actually turn out).…



— SafetyPin-Daily (@SafetyPinDaily) October 13, 2020


— Jacobin (@jacobinmag) October 13, 2020


— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 13, 2020


— The Lincoln Project (@ProjectLincoln) October 12, 2020


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