US Election Nowcast – 10th October 2020 1

Current Nowcast

340 (-23)198 (+23)
Changes from last Nowcast
Type of StateEC Votes
Safe Biden200
Safe Biden – Swing State75
Strong Biden50
Weak Biden
Weak Trump11
Strong Trump73
Safe Trump – Swing State45
Safe Trump84
Based on Criteria Below

The last week has shown dramatic swings in support, with Trump’s votes collapsing at the start of the week and then dramatically recovering as we approached the weekend.

Whilst Trump has improved since last week, he is still far behind in the Electoral College. Crucially, he seems to be making little impact in the next set of States he needs to win to move to the magic 270 EC votes required for victory – there is little sign of any momentum beyond around the 200 EC vote mark and key States like Florida, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin are still solidly blue. Indeed, Biden could lose all his current Strong States and still win the Election – Trump needs to start showing some real inroads into the Safe Biden territory in order to stand a realistic chance of winning.

StateStatusProb Biden WinCommentary
AlabamaSafe Trump2.8%New polling shows a strengthened position for Trump and we have moved this State to Safe Trump.
AlaskaSafe Trump13.3%New polling shows a strengthened position for Trump and we have moved this State to Safe Trump.
ArizonaWeak Trump39.8%It’s back and forth in Arizona at the moment in what should normally be a safe GOP State. Only one recent poll has put Trump in the lead, but the more concerning observation for Biden is a gradual loss in support over the past week.
FloridaStrong Biden83.8%Florida continues to be a strong State for Biden with little evidence of Trump coming close to winning.
GeorgiaStrong Trump10.1%We have moved Georgia back into Strong Trump territory as recent polls show a consistent lead.
IowaSafe Biden94.6%All the polling in the past week shows Iowa to be currently moving strongly to Biden.
KansasSafe Trump0.3%Recent polling diminishes Biden’s chance of winning. We have returned this State to Safe Trump.
LouisianaSafe Trump3.1%No change on last week’s forecast. This is Safe Trump.
Maine 2Strong Trump21.1%The most recent Critical Insight poll shows a commanding lead for Trump, moving this district back to Strong Trump.
MichiganSafe Biden100%Biden continues to widen his lead here and we now have a 100% Nowcast.
MinnesotaSafe Biden100%At the moment Biden is leading by a solid 6-7% of the vote here, with enough regular polling to remove any doubt of his victory.
MissouriSafe Trump0%Earlier in the campaign Biden was doing well here, but for the past month this has been solid Trump territory.
NevadaStrong Biden87.6%A recent Siena poll confirms Biden’s strong lead around 6%.
North CarolinaStrong Biden94.7%A week of polls with good Biden leads has strengthened his position here. Still not Safe Biden, but certainly Strong.
OhioStrong Trump25.7%Ohio appears to be swinging back to Trump with strong polling over the past few days.
PennsylvaniaSafe Biden99.3%Hasn’t polled well for Trump for over two months
South CarolinaSafe Trump0%Still polling consistently well for Trump.
TexasStrong Trump18.3%Polling at the start of the week showed a wobble for Trump, but he has since recovered. We would expect a 3% lead for him if the election happened today.
VirginiaSafe Biden98.1%Has been solidly Biden for three months with only a recent hint that Trump might be slowly picking up votes.
WisconsinSafe Biden99.8%Now moved to Safe Biden.

Probability of Biden Winning State

Presidential Election Forecast Philosophy

Our US Presidential Election forecast is based on polling in individual states. We run a monte-carlo simulation across the entire country and then calculate the probability of each candidate winning each state or electoral district (in the case of Maine and Nebraska). From this we allocate Electoral College votes State by State giving a final total for each candidate.

Do you allocate whole States / Districts to Candidates?

Only when a candidate has a 95% or greater chance of winning a State will we automatically assign all the Electoral College votes to one candidate.

Imagine three states where Candidate A has a 60% chance of winning each with 5 Electoral College votes available in each State. Whilst Candidate B is not likely to win an individual State in and of itself, the probability they win at least one of the three is actually 78.4%. Candidate B has an almost 30% chance of winning two of the three States and over a 6% chance of winning all three.

If we allocate 60% of the Electoral College Votes in each State to Candidate A they will have 9, and Candidate B will have 6. This is a better representation of the actual possible outcome across all three States.

What do you mean by Strong / Safe / Weak

We allocate a State a grade on the following basis

Safe – 95% or greater chance of winning or all State’s EC votes allocated to one candidate in EC allocation

Strong – 70% to 95% chance of winning

Weak – 55% to 70% chance of winning

Tie – Less that 55% chance of winning for either candidate

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