US Election Nowcast – 30th October 2020 2

Current Nowcast

356 (+16)180 (-16)
Changes from last Nowcast

This is our final Nowcast. From tomorrow we will provide a Forecast for what we expect the result to be on Polling Day.

Probability Trump Victory0.00%
Probability Trump 250+ EC Votes0.02%
Probability Trump 240+ EC Votes0.25%
Probability Tie0.00%
50% Confidence Interval Trump EC Votes166 – 192
Trump Modal EC Vote (EC Vote value with highest prob)163 – 8.3% likely
Trump Median EC Vote (Centre of Probability Distribution)180 – 4.5% likely
Type of StateEC VotesStates
Safe Biden199
Safe Biden – Swing State85Michigan (16)
Virginia (13)
Arizona (11)
Minnesota (10)
Wisconsin (10)
New Hampshire (4)
Nebraska 2 (1)
Strong Biden107Florida (29)
Pennsylvania (20)
Ohio (18)
Georgia (16)
North Carolina (15)
Nevada (6)
Maine 2 (1)
Soft Biden6Iowa (6)
Soft Trump
Strong Trump51Texas (38)
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

If Trump was hoping for momentum into Polling Day then he has run out of fuel for it.

Although firming up in Texas, elsewhere Trump is falling back. Ohio and Georgia are now firm Biden territory. Elsewhere no momentum is in evidence for Trump. Something dramatic needs to happen for Trump to have a fighting chance on Tuesday.

StateStatusProb Biden WinCommentary
AlabamaSafe Trump0%One new poll confirms strong Trump lead
AlaskaStrong Trump9.2%One new poll shows movement to Trump
ArizonaSafe Biden
(Strong Biden)
97.8%Has moved clearly back to Biden over past few days
FloridaStrong Biden
(Strong Trump)
86.7%Good recent polling shows Biden back in control
GeorgiaStrong Biden87.9%Continued good recent polling for Biden
IowaSoft Biden
(Strong Biden)
55.4%Biden losing ground
KansasSafe Trump1.3%No new polling
LouisianaSafe Trump1.7%Some slight movement to Biden, but not significant yet
Maine 2Strong Biden
(Safe Biden)
69.0%Recent poll indicates tighter race
MichiganSafe Biden97.5%New polling shows small move to Trump, but still safe Biden
MinnesotaSafe Biden100%Continues to show good polling for Biden
MissouriSafe Trump0%No new polling
MontanaSafe Trump0%New polling confirms safe Trump
Nebraska 2Safe Biden98.9%No new polling
NevadaSafe Biden100%New polling confirms Safe Biden
North CarolinaStrong Biden
(Soft Biden)
85.9%Back to Strong Biden
OhioStrong Biden
(Strong Trump)
71.2%New polling suggests Biden is doing well here, but this State is still desperately under-surveyed.
PennsylvaniaStrong Biden94.6%Holding steady just outside Safe Biden territory
South CarolinaSafe Trump0%New polling confirms clear Trump lead
TexasStrong Trump
(Soft Trump)
11.9%Continued good 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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2 thoughts on “US Election Nowcast – 30th October 2020

  • David Baker

    Hi Peter, the Guardian today seems to suggest Texas may be much closer than your Biden winning per cent possibility seems to suggest. What do you reckon?

    • Forecast UK - Peter

      Haven’t read it, but wouldn’t be surprised if they’re basing it on one single poll (which is not to how analyse a state).