Prestigious Electoral College Prediction Model Shows 100+ Point Blowout


Donald Trump’s own campaign advisers have been telling them that there is a very good chance that he could lose the reelection. His campaign manager came from the data-driven world, so he certainly should know. One of Trump’s primary problems is that he is down in the swing states and in key demographics of women and Independents.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the videotaped murder of a black Minneapolis, MN man by police hurt his chances badly. Top aides to the former Vice President understood that Joe Biden could win the Electoral College by quite a few votes. However, Democrats cannot be complacent about a win. Without a significant number of ballet votes cast for him, Biden could lose. Not all of Donald Trump’s supporters trust the polls and pollsters, so they have traveled un the radar.

A self-described “data-driven journalist” for The Economist Magazine G. Elliot Morris offered a glimpse into the nation’s political future and predicted that former Vice President Joe Biden could be projected to win 331 Electoral College votes, leaving just 207 for Trump. Morris has distilled down the basic tools that the poll-driven readers need to carry them safely throughout this 2020 political season.

To begin with, he has three links that will come in handy. The first explains that he could capture what today’s snapshot of the elections’ the model says, but only today.

‘Four months ago, Donald Trump’s odds of winning a second term had never looked better. After an easy acquittal in his impeachment trial, his approval rating had reached its highest level in three years, and was approaching the upper-40s range that delivered re-election to George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Unemployment was at a 50-year low, setting him up to take credit for a strong economy. And Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist, had won the popular vote in each of the first three Democratic primary contests.’

In less than three months, the US economy reached its highest level in decades before plummeting to a level not seen since the Great Depression in 1929:

‘But even by Mr Trump’s frenetic standards, the tumble in his political stock since then has been remarkably abrupt. First, Joe Biden, Barack Obama’s moderate and well-liked vice-president, pulled off a comeback for the ages, surging from the verge of dropping out to presumptive nominee. Then covid-19 battered America, claiming at least 110,000 lives and 30m jobs. And just when deaths from the virus began to taper off, protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd convulsed cities across America. Mr Trump’s callous response has widened the empathy gap separating him from Mr Biden into a chasm.’

The second link contains the methodology behind the model. Third, Morris kindly provided the open-sourced code for the model:

‘[The] code [is] for “a dynamic multi-level Bayesian model to predict US presidential elections.”‘

”We have open-sourced the code for the model. You can download it here.”

‘Code for a dynamic multi-level Bayesian model to predict US presidential elections, implemented in Stan – TheEconomist/us-potus-mode’

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Then, Morris generated the electoral map that showed Biden winning a strong  count:

‘Here’s the electoral map as we start the year in earnest. The model thinks Joe Biden is favored to win about 331 electoral votes come November.’

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Then, The Economist begins to get into the weeds, pointing our how the magazine forecasts:

‘We call this our “prior” forecast for the race and it helps us calibrate the model early. If polls are diverging wildly from the prior, it will split the difference. Today the prior is that Joe Biden will win 53.5% of the two-party vote. By election day it will be mostly polls.’

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Second, he showed that there was a margin of five percentage points, which relatively high. The models do not tend to look very far back. Statisticians prefer to narrow their variables:

‘Second, our model treats polls conservatively. Election-day polls (at the state level) have had a margin of error of about 5 points in elections going back to 2000. That’s a bit wider than many forecasters assumed in 2016, possibly explaining why they got the election so “wrong.”‘

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After that, Morris further explains the advantages of his model of predictions:

‘Third, and in a first among forecasters (from what we can tell), our model includes a correction for partisan non-response bias in polls. In effect it draws two sets of averages each day: one for polls that don’t weight by party/past vote, and one that does.

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He continued:

‘Then it pushes the numbers from unadjusted polls back towards the trend lines in polls that are weighted for partisanship. This doesn’t make so much a difference now, but come the conventions and debates our model will probably be much more stable than others.’

Although the president does not like to hear bad news, the news could be very bad for him in November. His advisors tell him that he must make immediate changes to his message in a mid-course correction, or he could lose to Biden.

Other advisors tell him to remain on his current course. His base remains his best bet for November. His advisers should know that the only reason their boss won in 2014 was that he carried an ultra-slim margin of 80,000 total votes spread across three swing states. The Economist believed that Trump’s greatest weakness would be assuming what worked in 2016 would work once again in 2020.

He can no longer claim to be the outsider he was when running against Secretary Hillary Clinton, the really big insider. Biden feels somewhat like an insider, too, after serving eight years as President Barack Obama’s vice president. Before that, Biden served as the US senator from Delaware when he was barely old enough to qualify. Now, Trump has a history for people. to examine.

Two additional issues for Trump has been that he cannot change his message or his campaign strategy:

‘The President is wholly incapable of changing his message. He hasn’t been able to change his campaign strategy. There is not going to be a course correction. Trump will keep steering the Republican ship into the ground, as his advisers are right.’

Trump’s penultimate problem is himself, and that one is not going to change either.

The Mueller Report Adventures: In Bite-Sizes on this Facebook page. These quick, two-minute reads interpret the report in normal English for busy people. Mueller Bite-Sizes uncovers what is essentially a compelling spy mystery. Interestingly enough, Mueller Bite-Sizes can be read in any order.