I owe you this post after teasing you last week with news that Democrats weren’t hitting their targets at a certain point in Nevada’s early voting. Jon Ralston has been Nevada’s most highly regarded elections analyst for years, a guy with a track record of calling the final outcome correctly based on early-voting numbers — even though any self-respecting data nerd will tell you that one should never read too much into early numbers. He was tooting his horn about his prior results on Twitter this morning:
2010: Reid (cc: @jmartNYT)
2014: Red wave
2018: Sisolak and Rosen
Is this my Wooden/Notre Dame year? (I hate Notre Dame, so maybe.)
My predictions for Tuesday. https://t.co/xQ8TU5OCUj
— Jon Ralston (@RalstonReports) November 2, 2020
Predicting Reid’s victory in 2010 was especially impressive considering that was the year of the big red wave, when the money and tea-party excitement behind Sharron Angle made it seem likely that Reid would be sent packing. A few days ago Ralston noted that Democrats were slightly *underperforming* their targets in early voting this year, a big deal potentially. Nevada only has six electoral votes but there are scenarios that aren’t terribly unlikely where those votes are decisive. If Biden flips Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia and Trump wins the remaining battlegrounds, Biden is president with 274 electoral votes — assuming Nevada remains in his column. If Trump pulls the upset there, it’s 270-268 for the president. Biden could also win Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Nebraska’s Second District to get to a 270-268 win. But if Trump flips Nevada, it’s 274-268 for POTUS.