The point, though, again, is that a Trump win is plausible. And all the other models I’ve seen have Trump within the Zone of Plausibility too, although the Economist’s model, which has his chances at 4 percent, is pushing it a bit.
At the same time, though, a 2016-style polling error wouldn’t be enough for Trump to win. In the chart below — taking a page from The Upshot, which has also been doing this — I’ve taken our final polling averages in 2016 and shown how they compared to the actual results. And then I’ve shown what the results would be based on this year’s polling average if the polls were exactly as wrong as in 2016 in exactly the same states.
Takeaway? Joe Biden would win. In fact, he’d win 335 electoral votes, including those in Florida, Georgia and Arizona. A lot of these wins would be close — he’d win by around 2 points in Arizona and Wisconsin, by and less than 1 point in Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania, so he’d have to sweat a bit, but he’d win.