I was going to do a pure predictions thread, but then this little butterfly of a tweet floated past me and I had to capture it and show it off to you. The Biden era’s off to an amazing start.
Something for New York political junkies to chew on while the day passes: Chatter that a President Biden could appoint Gillibrand to a cabinet post, allowing Cuomo to put AOC in the Senate, a gift to Schumer and to himself, and a way to elevate a star they're all afraid of.
— Ben Smith (@benyt) November 3, 2020
Cuomo and Schumer are each terrified of a possible Ocasio-Cortez primary in 2022, especially given her national fundraising reach among America’s hard left. Schumer’s afraid because he’s not nearly progressive enough for New York’s progressive base; Cuomo’s afraid because, well, he killed a lot of people and that’s always a problem in an election.
How lucky we’d be if these two fine public servants tried to protect their own asses by elevating this socialist menace to an office where she really could plausibly run for president in 2024 or 2028. If you think today is the most tense Election Day has ever been, let’s catch up eight years from now when it’s AOC vs. Donald Trump Jr.
America, baby: Things can always get worse.
We owe you a thread for your predictions before the vote tallies start coming in. The final projections from the pros are not encouraging for Team Red:
— Fivey Fox (@FiveyFox) November 3, 2020
FINAL CRYSTAL BALL RATINGS — THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE
Biden 321, Trump 217
Biden restores some of the Dem Midwest strength and breaks new ground in Sun Belt pic.twitter.com/i5KIbGMVZX
— Kyle Kondik (@kkondik) November 2, 2020
For the books: the final @InsideElections Electoral College ratings…
Toss-up 63 pic.twitter.com/w9kCgTQOz8
— Jacob Rubashkin (@JacobRubashkin) November 2, 2020
USC Dornsife’s national poll caught Trump’s momentum at the end of the 2016 campaign and had him winning the popular vote — erroneously but interestingly — by two points. Their final poll this year ends with Biden up 11. If that margin holds, Trump has no path in the electoral college. The polling averages from FiveThirtyEight and RCP don’t have Biden ahead by quite that much but both see him with a very solid lead of seven or eight points. That would also all but guarantee 270 electoral votes.
Remember, the undercard for tonight’s death match is Trumpy pollsters versus everyone else. Either the Trafalgars of the world will be exposed as partisan hacks by the outcome or the rest of the industry will collapse in a fiery wreck like the Hindenburg before our very eyes. It’ll be real.
Philip Klein has a wise perspective on the state of the race worth reading by those who believe Trump’s odds of winning are much better than they seem. His point is simple: The president *barely* won in 2016 and is facing a much more likable candidate now, one with greater appeal than Hillary had to the white working-class voters whom Trump is counting on. He’s also battling hurricane-force political winds in the form of the pandemic. Biden needs to be one point better than Hillary was in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania and he’s president. Think he can get there with a combo of COVID crushing Trump and most voters not deeply despising this year’s Democratic nominee the way they did the previous one?
To start, national polls were not as far off as state polls in 2016. The final Real Clear Politics average had Clinton up 3.2 points nationally, and she won by 2.1 points. On Tuesday morning, Biden was up 7.2 points nationally in the average. While, again, state level results are what matter, it would be hard for Biden to improve four points nationally over Clinton’s performance without making up at least a point in those three key states. Also, one thing worth looking at is the trend. There were several points in the 2016 race in which Trump was virtually tied or even slightly ahead of Clinton. Yet Biden has been consistently ahead of Trump for over a year, and Trump has never trailed by less than four points…
If one looks at FiveThirtyEight, its final polling averages have Biden up by 4.7 points in Pennsylvania, 8 points in Michigan, and 8.3 points in Pennsylvania. Those leads are substantial enough that they point to a Biden win, even if polls are just as wrong as they were in 2016. Throwing in another data point, FiveThirtyEight crunched the numbers as to what would happen in the states if there were a three point national polling error against Trump. It found that Biden would still win, but with a narrow 279 electoral votes.
You know what, though? For my own prediction I’m going to throw caution to the wind and say Trump 279, Biden 259. Biden gets Michigan, Wisconsin, Omaha’s single electoral vote, and then he hits a wall. I won’t bore you with my reasoning; no one wants to hear it, trust me. We’ll know in a few hours if there are enough shy Trump voters out there after all to erase even the most daunting polling margins.