One thing about 2016 is it wasn't just that our model gave Trump a better chance than other models/conventional wisdom, but also that we really tried to lean into that with our headlines, on social media, etc. We were quite adamant about pointing out that Trump had a decent shot.
We actually worried toward the end that we were overdoing it to some degree—not with the model itself, but that we tended to focus a lot more on Trump 30% chance than Clinton's 70%. And I think we probably would have gotten some crap for it if Clinton had won.
It's weird to live through an experience—that we were sort of waving our arms around and saying "he's got a shot!" when very few people were doing that—and have a lot of people remember it exactly the opposite way. Especially in the internet era when you can look all of this up.

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More from @NateSilver538

17 Oct
So far, returned mail ballots are D +31 (not a surprise given what polls show) whereas the set of mail ballots that have been requested but not yet returned are "only" D +17. Why does this matter?… Image
If (as this data shows) Dems are returning their ballots sooner, then mail ballots cast closer to Election Day—which in many states, will also be counted later—may not be as D as mail ballots overall. They could even wind up being R-leaning, conceivably.
This means there might not be as much of a blue shift in states with late-counted mail ballots, especially ballots that arrive after Election Day in states that allow that, as people might assume.
Read 7 tweets
14 Oct
Look which state just turned blue in the snake.…
By the slimmest possible margin, I might caution. Biden has a 51% chance of winning Georgia and Trump 49%, per our forecast. Our model's priors favor Trump in Georgia but there's been enough good polling for Biden there to counteract them.…
Meanwhile, in the Georgia Senate special election, we have Loeffler (R) with a ~40% chance of winning after the runoff, Warnock (D) with a ~30% chance, and Collins (R) with a ~30% chance.

Ossoff (D) with a ~30% chance of winning the regular Georgia seat.…
Read 5 tweets
12 Oct
One fairly likely scenario is that it's readily apparent that Biden has won by Election Night but the networks won't call the race per se because they're being conservative about states that have outstanding mail ballots.…
There are also questions like: let's say Biden is ahead by 100K votes in Michigan as of midnight, and there are also an estimated 500K late-arriving mail ballots, and the mail ballots so far heavily favored Biden. Can you call the state for Biden?
I'd say no, because you can't assume the late-arriving mail ballots will have the same partisan composition as the ones you got so far. Maybe (especially given mixed messages from Trump) GOP voters were more likely to procrastinate before sending ballots in, for instance.
Read 4 tweets
12 Oct
Ad spending here, especially for Trump, is tilted toward the *closest* states rather than the *tipping-point* states, which is generally a mistake if your goal is maximizing 270+ EV although might make sense if you think that margin of victory matters.
There's also an element of game theory here. It can be dangerous you aren't spending resources on a state and the other campaign is on offense there, e.g. maybe GA or OH wouldn't be the tipping-point state ordinarily, but it could be if only Biden spent on them.
But instead of spending a bit there as a hedge or deterrent, the Trump campaign is invested quite heavily in those states and underspending in some of the more likely tipping points.
Read 4 tweets
12 Oct
Looks like IBD/TIPP will be publishing a daily tracking poll the rest of the way, which starts out at Biden +9. Not a good result for Trump given this poll has been one of his best all year; their previous poll, after the debate, had Biden only +3.…
Anyway, our national poll average is up to Biden +10.6. I believe that correctly reflects what recent national polls say, more of which show Biden up double digits than not. But the state polls we saw last week would not support that high a margin.…
If Biden is truly up by 10-11 nationally, we ought to be seeing a lot of polls where he's up 8-10 in WI/MI/PA or say 7 in AZ/FL or 5-6 in NC. And yes you can find *some* polls like those but the averages have been a point or two lower for Biden.
Read 4 tweets
11 Oct
Ordinarily a major national poll showing a candidate 12 points ahead would be huge news, but it's just sort of par for the course these days. A mini-thread with a couple of quick observations, though.
Biden's lead in our national polling average is up to 10.3 points. There's no sign that things are getting better for Trump; the ABC/Post poll showing him -12 postdates his leaving the hospital. The USC tracker has also been getting worse for Trump.
One silver lining for Trump: the state polls still mostly seem to be in line with an 8-9 point deficit, rather than 10-11 as in national polls. But, there's also been a real lack of high-quality state polls for the past several days, so that may just be a matter of time.
Read 6 tweets

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