US Election Nowcast – 28th October 2020

Current Nowcast

340 (-13)196 (+13)
Changes from last Nowcast
Probability Trump Victory0.01%
Probability Trump 250+ EC Votes0.42%
Probability Trump 240+ EC Votes3.05%
Probability Tie0.01%
50% Confidence Interval Trump EC Votes178 – 211
Trump Modal EC Vote (EC Vote value with highest prob)210 – 11.9% likely
Trump Median EC Vote (Centre of Probability Distribution)196 – 3.0% likely
Type of StateEC VotesStates
Safe Biden199
Safe Biden – Swing State75Michigan (16)
Virginia (13)
Minnesota (10)
Wisconsin (10)
New Hampshire (4)
Nebraska 2 (1)
Maine 2 (1)
Strong Biden76Pennsylvania (20)
Georgia (16)
North Carolina (15)
Arizona (11)
Iowa (6)
Nevada (6)
Soft Biden
Soft Trump67Texas (38)
Florida (29)
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

We continue to see the expected tightening in the Nowcast as we approach polling day. Trump is up 13 Electoral College votes in two days.

Biden is still in a good lead but he can no longer just rely on his safe seats. Texas and Florida appear to be moving to Trump and there are even signs of movement in places like Pennsylvania. Biden continues though to have an incredibly strong position in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota as well as in Arizona and Nevada. If Trump begins to make inroads in these five states then he might be able to make a realistic challenge.

StateStatusProb Biden WinCommentary
AlabamaSafe Trump0%No new polling
AlaskaStrong Trump20.3%No new polling
ArizonaStrong Biden
(Soft Trump)
94.1%Has moved back to Biden
FloridaStrong Trump
(Soft Trump)
29.7%Continues to poll well for Trump
GeorgiaStrong Biden
79.4%Good recent polling for Biden
IowaStrong Biden
90.3%Good recent polling for Biden
KansasSafe Trump1.3%No new polling
LouisianaSafe Trump1.7%Some slight movement to Biden, but not significant yet
Maine 2Safe Biden99.7%New Colby poll confirms good Biden lead
MichiganSafe Biden100%Biden still in strong control here
MinnesotaSafe Biden100%Continues to show good polling for Biden
MissouriSafe Trump0%No new polling
MontanaSafe Trump0%No new polling
Nebraska 2Safe Biden98.9%No new polling
NevadaSafe Biden
(Strong Biden)
100%Moves to Safe Biden with two new polls
North CarolinaSoft Biden
(Strong Biden)
65.5%New polls show race tightening here
OhioStrong Trump16.1%No new polling
PennsylvaniaStrong Biden
(Safe Biden)
94.0%Slight movement to Trump – next few polls will confirm momentum (or not)
South CarolinaSafe Trump0%New polling confirms clear Trump lead
TexasSoft Trump
(Strong Biden)
35.2%Good new polling for Trump
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 (1.7% 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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