Saturday, September 12, 2020

September Election Analysis

Image from: https://pearsonpress.wordpress.com/2015/04/23/ignorance-is-bliss-poem/

I know, I know.  Polls aren't votes, wake you when it's over, you can't trust the numbers anyway because how do you account for GOP cheating.  I get it.  But aren't you at least the slightest bit curious how things are going? 

Because it's actually not looking that bad.

Here's the 2016 electoral college map.  Remember 45 lost the popular vote by almost 3 million so this is probably about as good as he can do:

This map is from the website 270towin.com, so named because, duh, it takes 270 electoral votes to win the election.  As you can see across the top, HRC came up 38 EVs short.  So for Biden to win this, he just needs to hold the blue states and flip enough red ones to gain those 38.

As I discussed in a previous post way back when, the most likely states for a Dem to flip are those Trump won by small margins in 2016: Michigan (0.2%), Pennsylvania (0.7%), Wisconsin (0.8%),  Florida (1.3%), Arizona (3.5%) and North Carolina (3.8%).  Together, these six states account for 101 electoral votes--more than enough to decide the contest.  So, how is the Biden/Harris ticket looking in those six right about now?

According to state polling averages, it's a clean sweep:

        Arizona: Biden/Harris lead 49%-43%
        Florida: Biden/Harris lead 48%-46%
        Michigan: Biden/Harris lead 50%-42%
        Pennsylvania: Biden/Harris lead 49%-44%
        North Carolina: Biden/Harris lead 47%-46%
        Wisconsin: Biden/Harris lead 49%-44%

Now, problematically each of those state races shows a significant slice of "other" voters--i.e., people who are either undecided or who intend to vote for various third-party candidates (which this year includes your usual Green Party idiot looking to suck votes away from the Democrat for...reasons, your quadrennial Libertarian Party fuck-up who wants to fight for your right to be crushed by unregulated corporations, and Kanye West--who is apparently still wearing his MAGA hat as he works to trick Black voters into making their votes not count).  This is troubling because one of the major reasons 45 is believed to have prevailed in 2016 was because "[u]ndecided voters ultimately broke heavily for Trump."  

Of course, one might presume that an undecided voter in 2016 likely viewed DT as the "change" candidate and HRC as the status quo--that scenario is largely reversed this time around.  Perhaps the entire body of undecideds is different in 2020--possibly long-time conservatives thinking about defecting, rather than political fence-sitters waiting to the last minute.  And some percentage (experts peg the range between about 8% and 20%) of the "other" voters will ultimately either vote for a third-party candidate or not vote at all.  Even so, if we assume the dynamics around undecideds are largely the same in 2020, that all of them will vote for a major party candidate, and that the unattributed slice will break 75% for Franco Naranja, where does that put Biden/Harris?

Arizona (8% undecided): Biden/Harris would lead 51%-49%, 
Florida (6% undecided): Biden/Harris would trail 49.5%-50.5%
Michigan (8% undecided): Biden/Harris would lead 52%-48%
Pennsylvania (7% undecided): Biden/Harris would lead 50.75%-49.25%
North Carolina (7% undecided): Biden/Harris would trail 48.75%-51.25%
Wisconsin (7% undecided): Biden/Harris would lead 50.75%-49.25%

So even in that same scenario, with every late-deciding voter voting and those votes still going 3:1 for Cheetochet, Biden/Harris still pick up Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin: a gain of 57 electoral votes.  I am no mathematician but am quite certain that 57 > 38.  

Another significant reason that polls failed to predict Orange Mussolini's electoral college victory in 2016 was because polls had systematically failed to properly weigh education levels.  That is, most polls have traditionally weighed their results to reflect demographic characteristics such as race, gender, and age.  But since 45's most fervent support comes from poorly-educated whites (naturally), polls cannot accurately reflect the cretin's standing without controlling for education level.  The failure to weigh education levels properly is estimated to have skewed polls by a massive four percentage points in 2016.  Prominent pollsters have therefore begun to control for education levels in 2020 polls, which presumably makes them more reliable in this election cycle.   

There is no way that polls can meaningfully predict or account for the effects of sabotaging mail, suppressing voters with law enforcement tactics, pandemic effects, or other shenanigans 45 might pull on election day.  But even just in terms of votes, the worst-case scenario analyzed above shows a rather clean and reliable path to victory for Biden/Harris.  This is further reinforced by the national popular vote polls, which currently show B/H up 51%-42% among registered voters and 51%-44% among likely voters.  The election is decided in the electoral college, of course--but since 1912, no POTUS candidates have ever won with less than 46% of the popular vote except Clinton in 1992 (43%) and Nixon in 1968 (43.4%)--and both of those races featured a significant third-party candidate (George Wallace took 13.5% of the popular vote in 1968, and Ross Perot won 18.9% of the popular vote in 1992).  It was Suharcheeto himself who won with 46% of the popular vote in 2016; a decline of just 2% or more in his overall support would easily cost him the ultra-close battlegrounds of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin--plus Florida (which he won by 1.5% of the vote).  A 4% decline costs him all six of the battleground states identified above and puts Biden/Harris into landslide territory.

And really, a landslide is what we pretty much ought to have.  I don't want to undermine anybody's steely resolve, but if we could imagine just for a moment that state polls are accurate and that undecideds break ever-so-slightly for Biden/Harris, then here's the map we'd wind up with on Nov. 4 (or whenever the votes are counted):

Certainly we would all take that in a NY minute.  But what's the matter, 369 EVs not landslidey enough for you?  Yeah, me neither.  But if Biden/Harris can grab an even higher share of the uncommitted votes, they could realistically also grab Arkansas, Iowa, Texas, or even South Carolina.  

That's what I'm taking about.  F*k you, Trump. Now go get it now.



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