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2 Wrongs: FiveThirtyEight Gives Biden 71% Chance Of Victory, Same As Clinton In 2016


An election model from FiveThirtyEight gives presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden a 71% chance of winning the presidency in November.

Former Vice President Biden’s odds are the exact same as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s were in 2016, though the website’s editor-in-chief, Nate Silver, said the identical odds were a coincidence. The model also analyzes Biden’s chance of winning every state, which ranges from “over 99%” in Vermont to “less than 1% in Wyoming.”

The model relies on Biden’s consistent lead in both national and battleground polls. He leads President Donald Trump by 8.3 points nationwide, according to the FiveThirtyEight’s aggregate poll.

Biden also leads Trump in the six core battleground states – Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida and Arizona – giving him more pathways to the 270 electoral votes necessary to win the election, according to the model.

In Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, three upper-midwestern states Trump won by a cumulative 77,000 votes in 2016, Biden leads by 6.2 points, 7.4 points and 6.3 points, respectively. The model gives the former vice president a 70% chance, 81% chance and 73% chance of winning each state.

In North Carolina, Florida and Arizona, Biden leads by 1.4 points, 5.2 points and 3.4 points, respectively. The model gives Biden a 64% chance of winning Florida and a 55% chance of winning Arizona. Biden has a 49% chance of winning North Carolina, which polls say is the most competitive state in the country.

Though the model indicates that Trump is an underdog, it gives him a greater chance at winning reelection than others do. A similar forecast by The Economist gives Trump only a 10% chance of winning in November.

Despite Trump’s polling deficit, Silver said on his site Wednesday that it is too early to count Trump out.

“It’s still only August. The debates and conventions have yet to occur. Biden only named his running mate yesterday. And the campaign is being conducted amidst a pandemic the likes of which the United States has not seen in more than 100 years,” Silver wrote.

Trump is also benefitted by the Electoral College, forecasters say. He could lose the national popular vote by four points and still win reelection, The Hill reported, due to the high concentration of Democratic votes in states like California and New York.

“The uncertainty in our 2020 forecast, conversely, stems mostly from the fact that there’s still a long way to go until the election,” Silver said.

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