My new @nytimes op-ed: meet the 10 counties in America that hold the key to President Trump's fate - and illustrate why he's in such deep trouble.…
Today, I'd rate all ten of these top bellwether counties as either "toss ups" or "lean Biden:"

1. Maricopa, AZ
2. Pinellas, FL
3. Peach, GA
4. Marshall, IA
5. Kent, MI
6. New Hanover, NC
7. Wood, OH
8. Erie, PA
9. Collin, TX
10. Sauk, WI
These places don't fit one stereotype: they run the gamut from meatpacking hubs to military bases and peach orchards to yacht-dense retiree havens.

But one thing they have in common: their votes will matter a whole lot more than most Americans' votes.
A few of the most 👀 facts in this story:

- Peach, GA's Black turnout plummeted from 72% in 2012 to 54% in 2016, causing Trump to win it
- New Hanover, NC hasn't voted D since 1976 but got its first Whole Foods in 2012
- Sauk, WI is home to the International Clown Hall of Fame
A few of my favorite facts that *didn't* make the cut:

- Fort Valley, GA is the headquarters of Blue Bird school buses
- Terre Haute, IN houses Clabber Girl baking powder's factory
- Bowling Green, OH's nickname is "Pull Town USA"
- Sauk City, WI is the birthplace of Culver's
Ok let's be real, raise your hand if you're craving a @culvers ButterBurger or cheese curds right now.

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More from @Redistrict

4 Oct
The key to the stability of Biden's lead to date? He's basically stayed out of the way and ceded the spotlight to Trump. It's October, and this is still a referendum (vs. choice) election.
Hearing a few people ask: then why is Trump's approval up to 44.4% at @FiveThirtyEight? My answer: we're pretty close to Nov. and if the election were today, I wouldn't be surprised if Trump got ~44.4% of the vote.
Read 4 tweets
2 Oct
This might be a good opportunity to explain why I will *not* be saying "I've seen enough" on Election Night 11/3 (besides the main reason, which is a longstanding contractual obligation w/ a network desk)...
My general approach to "seeing enough" on Twitter is to make that declaration at a ~98% personal confidence interval, whereas a media organization might prudently wait to project a race at a ~99%+ confidence interval.
In other words, I'd expect that for every 98 times "I've seen enough" ends up being correct, there might be two times it ends up being incorrect.

I'm comfortable w/ that level of risk on most nights. But on 11/3, the stakes are way too high to mischaracterize results.
Read 4 tweets
30 Sep
If you were a voter who went in w/ concerns about Biden's age, he didn't do much to dispel them. If you went in w/ concerns about Trump's temperament, his tantrums sent them into overdrive.

If you were a casually politically-interested voter, you probably changed the channel.
Sorry, but last night was not Biden at his sharpest. He's almost 78 and looked/sounded like it. Fortunately for him, Trump, 74, behaved/sounded like he was 3.
p.s. Not sure how anyone can read this as "both sides" or equating their performances. Trump lost. Especially b/c it's Trump who needs to change the trajectory of the race, and last night didn't.
Read 4 tweets
28 Sep
If you were only to go by September's live-interview national polls (averaging demographic crosstabs, ignoring state polls), here's how that might roughly translate in the Electoral College:…
As you might glean, it's not *that* far off from what state polls are showing! The notable exceptions might be:

1) FL, where Trump's gains w/ Hispanics have outpaced his national gains
2) GA, where non-college white voters are less elastic than they are in Upper Midwest
Also, in the above map, I'm assuming every demographic group sees a 5 point turnout bump vs. '16, but being extra-generous to Trump by assuming a 10 point bump in non-college white turnout.

Even so: Biden 375, Trump 163.
Read 4 tweets
24 Sep
Bad #ElectionTwitter pickup line: "Hey there, want to slide into my...DeMographic Swingometer?"

The wait is over. Introducing @CookPolitical's newest, most addictive tool: Image
Have you ever wondered what the 2020 map might look like if:

- Biden restores Black turnout to Obama-era levels?
- Trump does better w/ Hispanics than last time?
- College-educated whites swing to Biden?

Now you can choose your own adventure! at either @NBCNews/@CookPolitical.
Like the @NBCNews interactive, the @CookPolitical tool allows you to build & share your own maps. It also has some extras for election *super-nerds:*

1) Real-time raw popular vote tally
2) Real-time red/blue state shading
3) Dynamic table w/ state-level demographic breakdowns
Read 5 tweets
23 Sep
Alright, a *reveal thread:*

At a time when people want definitive models/answers about what's going to happen - and truth is it could range from a 400+ EV "blue GA/TX" landslide to a nightmare PA "naked ballot" catastrophe - I've wrestled w/ where we can add the most value.
The result: a tool that allows YOU to "choose your own 2020 adventure" and visualize how changes in demographic turnout rates & vote preference interact with the Electoral College.

In other words, America could use a good swingometer.
To that end, we've created not one, but two! exciting features that allow you to "Swing the Vote:"

1) A handy @NBCNews "Swing the Vote" interactive designed for a wide audience
2) A detailed @CookPolitical interactive w/ more in-depth data. Warning: *election super-nerds only*
Read 9 tweets

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