The latest electoral college projections from FiveThirtyEight suggest that a major “blue wave” is on the way. Presidential candidates need to secure at least 270 electoral votes in order to win the presidency, and according to FiveThirtyEight’s latest forecast, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has a 75 percent chance of winning the electoral college. The site, which compiles election-related statistics, gives President Donald Trump an only 24 percent chance of successfully winning re-election.
As of Wednesday afternoon, they estimate that there’s a one percent chance that neither candidate secures an electoral college majority, which would mean the election would have to be decided by Congress, with one “vote” going to the Congressional delegation from each state. On the flip side of that, there’s a chance — albeit a small one of seemingly about one percent — that Biden could win the election with over 500 electoral votes. That would put Biden’s victory in the realm of re-election victories of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan, both of whom won over 500 electoral votes in their respective races for re-election.
In the 2020 race, FiveThirtyEight estimates as of Wednesday afternoon that Pennsylvania is the state that’s most likely to put the winning candidate over the top. The state second most likely to deliver a decisive winning margin for the victorious candidate is Florida, and after that comes Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona. In Pennsylvania, FiveThirtyEight currently estimates that Biden has a 75 percent chance of winning. As of Wednesday afternoon, Biden leads in polls in the state by an average of 4.8 percent. Biden is also in the lead in polling averages in Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Arizona — although as of Wednesday afternoon, FiveThirtyEight put his Florida lead at just 2.3 percent. In 2012, the Obama-Biden ticket won Florida by less than one percent.
The Cook Political Report, which also maintains an electoral college forecast, estimates that the race could turn out pretty close. As of Wednesday afternoon, they estimate that Democrats can count on just 279 electoral votes as at least “leaning” Democratic, while they’ve got 72 electoral votes in the toss-up column and 187 electoral votes at least “leaning” Republican. Even with that forecast, the GOP has much more ground to make up than Democrats.