Our forecast has Trump winning Alaska by 7 points, but it also thinks Alaska is a hard state to forecast so it gives Biden a 22 percent chance of winning it, which would make him the first Democrat since LBJ to do so. projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-…
I'd also note that there's a pretty big gap in the snake chart here between Texas, where our forecast is Trump +3 (so not quite a tossup, but close) and then a group of states (Alaska, SC, MO, KS, MT) where we're in the range of Trump +7 to Trump +10.
So you get a big cluster of outcomes at around Biden 413 electoral votes, which is where he wins all the toss-ups / lean R states (including Texas) but little if anything beyond that, although adding AK to that map (so 416 EV) also comes up decently often.

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More from @NateSilver538

18 Oct
Although everyone's waiting for that last twist of fate as with the Comey letter in 2016, more often the final two weeks of a campaign can be anticlimactic, with it being too late to shift tactics or change that many minds.
But everybody's anxiety level is very, very high. So there's usually a lot of jumping the gun at minor stories, any claims about shifts in the polls, etc. Looking at polling averages can be helpful in this regard: projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/presiden… Image
Even a 10-point lead isn't safe for Biden because 1) it's closer in the swing states 2) there's still *some* time for the race to tighten 3) polls can be wrong (although they'd have to be quite wrong, not just a little wrong, but I digress...)
Read 6 tweets
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?

electproject.github.io/Early-Vote-202… 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. projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-election-…
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. politico.com/news/2020/10/1…
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. investors.com/politics/ibd-t…
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. projects.fivethirtyeight.com/polls/presiden…
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

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