2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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Túrin Turambar
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2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Túrin Turambar »

Here is a thread for all final predictions, coverage of results, and reactions to the 2020 U.S. Presidential and Congressional elections. I am writing this around 3pm, Washington DC time, Monday 2 November, election eve.

The 538 Model, which will be frozen shortly, gives Vice President Joe Biden an 89% chance of winning a majority of electoral votes, and his odds have been increasingly steadily from 69% on September 1. 538 forecasts that Biden will win (in decreasing order of margin), MI, WI, NV, PA (tipping point state), NE2, AZ, FL, ME2, NC and GA, and President Donald Trump will win (in increasing order of margin), OH, TX and IA.

Among the other models, Real Clear Politics projects Biden to win the Electoral College 319-219, with Biden winning WI, MI, PA, AZ and FL from 2016, but Trump retaining IA, OH, NC, GA, and TX. Electoral-Vote projects WI, MI, PA, AZ, FL, OH, NC and GA for Biden and IA and TX for Trump.

538 projects a popular vote margin of 53.3% to 45.4% in Biden’s favour.

538 gives the Democrats a 75% chance of winning control of the Senate, projecting Democratic wins in IA, ME, GA special, NC, AZ, MI and CO, and Republican wins in GA, MT, SC, KZ, AL and AR. RCP predicts Democratic pick-ups in AZ, CO, ME and NC, with both GA elections going to runoff, for a 50-50 split in the Senate. Electoral-Vote predicts Democratic pick-ups in AZ, CO, GA, GA-special, ME, MT and NC, a Republican pick-up in AL, and lists IA as too close to call, for a final 53-46-1 split in the Senate.

538 gives the Democrats a 98% of retaining control of the House of Representatives. All forecasts agree.

If you would like to create your own electoral map, you can use the interactive map at 270 to Win.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Dave_LF »

Since this thread now exits, I will move this post here.
Dave_LF wrote:And now he's opening bragging that the Supreme Court will give him the win even if he loses the vote. I know there's not a snowball's chance, but if both chambers turn blue, then even if Trump loses and concedes, I'd love it if the first thing they do is take up a vote to impeach/convict just to deny him the dignity of an "honorable discharge."
This whole damn election makes me uncomfortable because of the sense of legitimacy it confers. Trump doesn't just belong out of office, he belongs in jail. Justice should not be up for a vote.

That said, Biden should cleanly win this election, unless caller ID etc. have rendered the whole polling concept obsolete. But I worry about interference from the courts.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

413-125.

You read it here first.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Túrin Turambar »

Of course, as predictions go, there's always this.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

My entirely realistic (albeit optimistic) prediction includes more electoral votes for Biden than that completely bonkers prediction does for Trump.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

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Voronwë the Faithful wrote:413-125.

You read it here first.
How?
'You just said "your getting shorter": you've obviously been drinking too much ent-draught and not enough Prim's.' - Jude
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Here you go. Every single one of these states (or in the case of Nebraska and Maine, Districts), Biden is either leading in the polls or in the case of Iowa, Ohio and Texas, very close.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

That map is possible with a much smaller polling error than occurred (in the other direction) in 2016
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Inanna »

Ain’t you the optimist? :)
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Sometimes

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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Snowdog »

Sportsbet has the odds for Biden at $1.30 and for Trumb $2.70... so a $1.70 return for every dollar if Trump wins vs a 30¢ return for every dollar if Biden wins.

Oh, electorol College...

375 Biden
163 Trump
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Inanna wrote:Ain’t you the optimist? :)
There are some good reasons to be optimistic. The early indications are that turnout among groups that should support Biden is extremely high, including young people. The polls have been extremely consistently showing Biden's lead. The efforts that Stacy Abrams in particular has done to get out the vote in Georgia makes that state very likely to turn blue. The decision today allowing the drive-thru ballots in Harris County could help turn Texas. There was a poll today showing Biden leading in Ohio. Of all the states that I predicted to turn, I think Iowa is the least likely, but it could certainly go blue. We'll just have to see.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Inanna »

'You just said "your getting shorter": you've obviously been drinking too much ent-draught and not enough Prim's.' - Jude
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Túrin Turambar »

I'm willing to go with 538's map with the caveat that I'm still undecided on Texas (and Silver himself has tweeted that he's unsure on the model as well). The polling in the Lone Star State currently averages about 51-49 for President Trump, which is similar to the 52-48 margin in the 2018 Senate race between Beto O'Rourke and Ted Cruz. But the turnout has been crazy. I haven't checked, but it's likely now that more ballots have already been cast than were cast in 2016 in total. Then there's the disputed ballots ending up in court. I'll make my final prediction tonight (AEST).

ETA: And they're off! Biden has beaten Trump 5-0 in the historic midnight contest in Dixville Notch, NH.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Túrin Turambar wrote:I'm willing to go with 538's map with the caveat that I'm still undecided on Texas (and Silver himself has tweeted that he's unsure on the model as well). The polling in the Lone Star State currently averages about 51-49 for President Trump, which is similar to the 52-48 margin in the 2018 Senate race between Beto O'Rourke and Ted Cruz. But the turnout has been crazy. I haven't checked, but it's likely now that more ballots have already been cast than were cast in 2016 in total. Then there's the disputed ballots ending up in court. I'll make my final prediction tonight (AEST).
Yes, Texas early voting this year came to 108% of the number of votes cast in total in 2016.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Túrin Turambar »

OK, I'm going to stick my neck out. 389-149.
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TX is the one state I'm calling against the polling consensus. I'm assuming the higher turnout represents young and Hispanic voters, who are favourable to Biden (even though Hispanics in Texas are more Republican than they are in AZ, NM and CA). White evangelicals seem to sticking with the President, and on that basis I'll predict he retains OH. And I'll take the Selzer Poll as suggesting a shift to the President in IA.

I predict MT will be surprisingly close but the President will win it.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Your map is the same as mine with the exception of Ohio and Iowa. (And I don't actually expect Biden to win Iowa.)
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by N.E. Brigand »

Túrin Turambar wrote:OK, I'm going to stick my neck out. 389-149.

[...]

TX is the one state I'm calling against the polling consensus. I'm assuming the higher turnout represents young and Hispanic voters, who are favourable to Biden (even though Hispanics in Texas are more Republican than they are in AZ, NM and CA). White evangelicals seem to sticking with the President, and on that basis I'll predict he retains OH. And I'll take the Selzer Poll as suggesting a shift to the President in IA.

I predict MT will be surprisingly close but the President will win it.
It was astonishing to me four years ago to realize that Texas and Ohio voted almost identically, and it certainly does seem like Texas, even if it doesn't flip, is the state likelier to do so. While Biden's decision to come to Cleveland yesterday suggests they think they have a shot here in the Buckeye State, and while Ohio has voted for the winner in every election since 1960, when Richard Nixon edged out John F. Kennedy here, this might be the year that ends that streak.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by River »

Some thoughts. I've been doing a stint as a Signature Verification Judge in my state this election. I had a bumwad of PTO and this seemed like a responsible way to use it, what with the turn out predictions and all. I applied to any open position and they put me here because I can handle computers and repetitive work. I also have pretty good pattern recognition skills. Scientists and artists are trained to use and trust their senses.

A couple things to keep in mind about my thoughts. First, every state runs their system differently. Second, Colorado takes a lot of pride in how our elections are run. Turn out is high, confusion is low, and lawsuits, if they even happen, go nowhere. Those long lines you see pictures of in places like Georgia don't happen here. We think the rest of the country should just follow our example and everything will be just dandy. If you're afraid your party or cause won't win with Colorado's system in place, that says more about your party or cause's arguments than it does about the system. Colorado is also mail-in "only" and has been mail in "only" for several election cycles. I put "only" in scare quotes because we also have polling places and same-day registration, but every registered voter receives their ballot in the mail and have the option of mailing it back. Ballots that arrive after Election Day are not included in the count. They aren't discarded but they aren't counted. There is a lot of outreach and education about when the last safe day to drop your ballot in the mail is and the alternatives. There are dropboxes scattered around and these are unloaded daily. These things are solid. I bet that they'd survive a nuclear strike, actually. It'll be cockroaches, coyotes, Keith Richards, and the uncollected ballots of Colorado. You can also dump your ballot at a polling place. We also have an online tracking service voters can sign up for that'll let you know when your ballot was sent to you, when it was received by the clerk's office, and when it was accepted. You will not know if it was counted because once the signature is verified the envelopes are opened, the ballots are removed, and the link between the person and the ballot they cast is lost. No ballots are discarded, even if they can't be counted for one reason or another (filled out in a manner that voids the ballot, unverified signature, voter is ineligible, voter sent their primary ballot in for the general, etc.). So, in short, some of what I'm about to say may not be applicable to any other state and all of it is colored by an experience with a system that is functional.

So. My thoughts. Overall, the closer I get to the system, the less capable I am of believing fraudulent ballots can be cast. It is more likely that ballots will be destroyed or diverted than faked. There are too many checks. Ballots are numbered. Ballots are specific right down to the most local level of governance. Ballots are signed and the signatures get compared. In Colorado, we look at scanned images. The first level of review is performed by one person. The current ballot is compared to the next most recent image in the database. There is computer software that can do this but it's been turned off this cycle. There was one run when it was accidentally on and we were instructed to override if necessary. I quickly understood why it was turned off. Human eyes are better at this. If a ballot fails the first round of review, it's escalated. This next level of review involves a two-person, bipartisan team. They have us seated alternating by party so the two person team is you and the person next to you. There's one team that seems to have a hard time getting along sometimes. I've been doing fine with my partner. At this level of review, we enter the database and pull up all past signature records on file. Previous ballots. Registrations and registration updates. If the two-member team can't clear it, the voter is given an oppurtunity to "cure" their signature. Once the signature is verified, the ballot is sent to be opened, inspected, and counted.

There are watchers allowed back there with us during signature verification. They are allowed to challenge a first level review. A second level review is untouchable and a watcher got barked at by our lead when she lunged in to challenge me and my partner.

The most common reason I reject a signature in the first round is a bad database call. No reference is available so that's an automatic escalation. The bulk of these we can clear at the next level. The next most common reason I reject a signature in the first round is the reference is something the voter puked up on an electronic pad and the ballot signature, done up nicely in ink, looks completely different. We can clear those in the next round if and only if there's ink on file. I would vastly prefer it if those electronic pads went the way of the dodo and new registrants filed their signatures by signing a piece of paper and then getting the paper scanned or photographed. New registrants who didn't present ID when they registered (the system knows who they are) are required to send a photocopy of their ID with their ballot. Their ballots arrive in purple envelopes so the pre-sorting team pulls them on sight. If the ID is good, it gets sent to us. If the ID is bad, it still gets sent to us but it's flagged as needing ID. If we clear the signature, we still need to code the ballot as rejected, but we code it for needing ID, not a signature problem.

The most common ID problem is someone sends a copy of their driver's license but it's out of state. Or they just don't send a copy at all. Even with ID provided, we still do the signature verification. The ID links the person to their voter registration. The signature links them to their ballot. Student IDs are acceptable if there's a photo and it's a Colorado school. Passports are of course acceptable. So are pay stubs or utility bills or letters from a government agency so long as your current address is on them.

I expect that new or infrequent voters across the country are going to encounter similar signature issues to the ones I've seen. Be prepared to hear about that. Be aware the decisions are made by people hired out of the same county the voters live in. Be aware that the judges are bound by the state election rules and procedures, but they are trying really hard to get ballots through.

Also, there's only so much of this kind of work a human mind can take before fatigue sets in. In Colorado, we do the verifications as the ballots roll in. If a state does not allow that, it will cause a huge lag in processing the mailed in ballots before they can even be counted. I'd hate to be working on an election run that way. You're pretty much forcing election judges to get sloppy if you allow people to submit ballots early and then try to jam all the processing into one day.

In my state, ballots that aren't verified or cured are stored. We discard no ballots. We may not ever open them, but we do not junk them. Voters have until Nov. 12 to cure their ballot if they want it counted and the notifications are supposed to be sent within 72 hours of the discrepancy going on file. Nov. 12 is when the results get certified. Like I've said in previous posts, the results released on Election Night are but the first draft. They'll announce because the number of ballots left to count won't influence the outcome, but those ballots will still be counted. In fact, I'm scheduled for this Thursday to mop up anything my teams doesn't finish tonight and the other team doesn't catch tomorrow.

Signature verification is, of course, somewhat subjective. That's why they call us judges. We use our judgment. Colorado typically leaves 0.5% of the ballots cast uncounted due to signature issues. We do better than a lot of states, but we want to do better still. So this year, they've been running a bunch of QC checks and audits that I'm told are new. There've been a couple judges let go because of audit results. Basically, a team goes over the judge's decisions and if there's too much disagreement, you get broomed. I have no idea if I'm particularily good, but I haven't been sent home or given any other correction so I assume I'm doing okay.
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Re: 2020 Election: Predictions, Results and Reactions

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Oft hope is born, when all is forlorn.
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