US Election Forecast – 31st October 2020

Current Forecast

Changes from last Nowcast

This is our first Forecast. From today until Polling Day we will publish each day what we think the result will be from voting on Tuesday.

With three days to go we forecast a decisive win for Biden with a Trump win unattainable. Although there is some small evidence of Trump continue to tighten the race in some States, it is not enough to pose a serious challenge to the Democrats’ hopes of regaining the White House. Unless something significant happens (or the polls are incredibly wrong), we do not expect our forecast to change much over the next few days.

Probability Trump Victory0.00%
Probability Trump 250+ EC Votes0.13%
Probability Trump 240+ EC Votes0.56%
Probability Tie0.00%
50% Confidence Interval Trump EC Votes169 – 196
Trump Modal EC Vote (EC Vote value with highest prob)163 – 7.0% likely
Trump Median EC Vote (Centre of Probability Distribution)181 – 3.6% likely
Type of StateEC VotesStates
Safe Biden199
Safe Biden – Swing State74Pennsylvania (20)
Michigan (16)
Virginia (13)
Minnesota (10)
Wisconsin (10)
New Hampshire (4)
Nebraska 2 (1)
Strong Biden96Florida (29)
Ohio (18)
Georgia (16)
North Carolina (15)
Arizona (11)
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
StateStatusProb Biden WinCommentary
AlabamaSafe Trump0%No new polling
AlaskaStrong Trump12.2%No new polling
ArizonaStrong Biden77.5%Should be Biden but Trump may produce an upset
FloridaStrong Biden80.6%Recent polling shows greater uncertainty in Florida
GeorgiaStrong Biden81.0%Biden looking good in Georgia, traditionally a GOP state
IowaSoft Biden65.6%Good but not safe for Biden
KansasSafe Trump1.1%No new polling
LouisianaSafe Trump1.7%Very safe for Trump
Maine 2Soft Biden62.1%Recent polls indicates tighter race
MichiganSafe Biden99.9%Clear signs that Biden has strong lead, but Trump is increasing support
MinnesotaSafe Biden95.6%Safe Biden, but he is slowly losing support
MissouriStrong Trump9.8%Should be Trump but requires new polling to confirm
MontanaSafe Trump0%New polling confirms safe Trump
Nebraska 2Safe Biden99.3%No new polling
NevadaSafe Biden100%Recent polling confirms Safe Biden
North CarolinaSoft Biden65.1%Heavily polled in last few days. Not certain for Biden with both candidates doing well.
OhioStrong Biden71.4%For such a key state there is a desperate paucity of polling! All evidence is Biden is doing well.
PennsylvaniaSafe Biden100%Currently Safe Biden but momentum here continues to be with Trump so may yet move in last few days.
South CarolinaSafe Trump0%New polling confirms clear Trump lead
TexasStrong Trump8.4%Continued good polling for Trump but still might change in last few days
VirginiaSafe Biden100%Continued strong polling for Biden
WisconsinSafe Biden98.8%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

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 (4.8% 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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