US Election Nowcast – 26th October 2020

Current Nowcast

353 (-12)183 (+12)
Changes from last Nowcast
Probability Trump Victory0.00%
Probability Trump 250+ EC Votes0.19%
Probability Trump 240+ EC Votes1.36%
Probability Tie0.00%
50% Confidence Interval Trump EC Votes166 – 197
Trump Modal EC Vote (EC Vote value with highest prob)205 – 4.7% likely
Trump Median EC Vote (Centre of Probability Distribution)183 – 3.9% likely
Type of StateEC VotesStates
Safe Biden199
Safe Biden – Swing State75Pennsylvania (20)
Michigan (16)
Virginia (13)
Minnesota (10)
Wisconsin (10)
New Hampshire (4)
Nebraska 2 (1)
Maine 2 (1)
Strong Biden59Texas (38)
North Carolina (15)
Nevada (6)
Soft Biden
Tie22Georgia (16)
Iowa (6)
Soft Trump40Florida (29)
Arizona (11)
Strong Trump31Ohio (18)
Missouri (10)
Alaska (3)
Safe Trump – Swing State35
Alabama (9)
South Carolina (9)
Louisiana (8)
Kansas (6)
Montana (3)
Safe Trump77
Based on Criteria Below

As expected, the polls are indicating a slow increase in spport for Trump as we move towards the Election. Expect to see some tightening of the race from now till polling day as the reality of the Election makes voters crystalise their partisanship.

Biden is still in a commanding lead – on just the safe States alone he has 274 Electoral College votes, enough for him to lose everything else and still win. With strong positions in Texas and Florida as well, the Democrats are currently set to regain the White House.

Some States are in desperate need of new polling to clarify trends (for eg Texas).

StateStatusProb Biden WinCommentary
AlabamaSafe Trump0%No new polling
AlaskaStrong Trump20.3%No new polling
ArizonaSoft Trump
(Soft Biden)
43.3%Trump continues to pick up support and is now in the lead
FloridaSoft Trump
(Strong Biden)
38.0%Trump now in the lead in Florida
(Strong Trump)
45.2%Back to neck and neck
IowaTie52.0%Continues to be a tight race
KansasSafe Trump1.3%No new polling
LouisianaSafe Trump0.6%No new polling
Maine 2Safe Biden
(Soft Trump)
99.0%Moved to Safe Biden after reviewing polling in Maine 2 and wider Maine
MichiganSafe Biden100%Biden back in strong control here
MinnesotaSafe Biden100%Continues to show good polling for Biden
MissouriSafe Trump0%No new polling
MontanaSafe Trump0%New polling confirms clear Trump lead
Nebraska 2Safe Biden98.9%No new polling
NevadaStrong Biden89.8%No new polling
North CarolinaStrong Biden87.6%No new polling
OhioStrong Trump16.1%No new polling
PennsylvaniaSafe Biden100%Further polling confirms Biden’s safety here
South CarolinaSafe Trump0.8%No new polling
TexasStrong Biden90.0%In desperate need of new polling to confirm position
VirginiaSafe Biden100%Continued strong polling for Biden
WisconsinSafe Biden100%Continued clear water for 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?

As we approach Election Day, our Nowcast now moves to a full Monte Carlo simulation of the whole country. From this Nowcast onwards our seat forecast is based on allocating the total EC votes for each State / District to the candidate who “wins” in the simulation. From this we produce a probability distribution of likely outcomes.

What do you mean by Strong / Safe / Soft?

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

Soft – 55% to 70% chance of winning

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

Sites like FiveThirtyEight have a higher probability of Trump winning. What are you doing wrong?

Nothing! 538 uses a different methodology than we do and they are also producing a forecast of polling day, whereas we issue NowCasts (what the result would be today).

Can you tell me what the probability of a certain event happening is?

Sure. We provide the most interesting probabilites above, but it’s easy to calculate things like how likely Biden is to win Texas, Ohio and Florida (5.6% as of this morning). Leave a comment below if there is a particular probability you want us to share with you.

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