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How Trump won the 2020 election and the Electoral College



President Donald Trump’s national and major state polls are much worse than when he was in 2016. As of October 28, his chance of winning in the FiveThirtyEight prediction model (11%) is lower than the chance of ending last time (28%).

But those opportunities are not zero. So what is Trump going to win?

The scenario in which the president is most likely to win is somewhat lengthy, but not that complicated.

First of all, in most swing states, he needs 3 wrong voting points or late voting support. Getting out of the FiveThirtyEight poll average is enough to push Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, and Iowa (Biden leads by a narrow margin) into Trump̵

7;s column. But this alone cannot provide Trump with enough electoral votes.

Trump also needs to win multiple small games held by big states or Biden with a bigger lead. His best prospect seems to be Pennsylvania, where Biden’s house price is more than 5 percentage points higher than the FiveThirtyEight average.

There is no indication that this is a particularly possible situation. Experts who know signs of Trump’s possible victory in 2016 usually won’t see the same signs this time. However, this situation cannot be completely ruled out before counting the votes.

Indeed, this is very similar to my analysis of Trump’s road to victory before the last presidential election: hold meetings in very close states and then break into the blue wall. The difference is that Biden’s profit margins in major states are currently higher than Clinton’s. Therefore, imagine Trump’s road to victory as 2016, but even bigger.

Step 1: Trump must win all (or almost all) swing states where Biden leads 1 to 3 points

First, let’s review the election map of whether the average number of FiveThirtyEight votes fully meets the target.

Biden will win all the states that Hillary Clinton won last time, as well as the second districts of Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Georgia, Maine And the second district of Nebraska. Biden will win a decisive victory with 357 votes.

Andrew Prokop/Vox

However, when you look closely, some clues for Biden in key states are not so big. FiveThirtyEight leads by only 1 to 3 points in the second districts of Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Georgia and Maine. (Biden has a small footprint in Texas and Ohio.)

Opinion polls with a score of 1 to 3 are not safe. Such serious voting errors are common. In 2016, several (though not all) swing state polls underestimated Trump’s profit margins by a few cents or more.

Specifically, in the above-mentioned states, RealClearPolitics’ average profit is 6.5 percentage points lower than Trump’s in Iowa, 2.7 percentage points in North Carolina, one percentage point in Florida, and 0.3 percentage points in Georgia. It underestimated Clinton’s Arizona profit margin by 0.5%.

Now, pollsters have made some changes aimed at solving the 2016 problem. As the education level of the respondents failed to achieve this in 2016, often leading to underestimation of the number of voters of Trump’s electorate, so more respondents are weighing the education level of the respondents. We should also be open to the possibility that this polling error may benefit Biden. But polling errors are difficult to predict in advance-this is why they are errors.

It is also possible that voters moved into the Trump camp very late, as in 2016, when the then FBI Director James Comey issued a notorious letter announcing the discovery of Hillary Clinton’s new email. But by this point in 2016 (about a week before the general election), racial austerity was already evident in the polls. So far, there are no signs of obvious austerity measures this time around.

However, in general, for Trump to win, a necessary but insufficient condition is that most of Biden’s small polling leaders in Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Iowa and Georgia are Will not succeed. Biden may not be able to win the close competitions between Texas and Ohio, and opinion polls show that his results are not satisfactory.

Step 2: From a match where Biden has a bigger lead, Trump needs another batch of electoral votes to get him to the top

If all states where Biden leads by about 1 to 3 points eventually fall to Trump-but where Biden shows more advantages in the polls wins-this is how the map looks like. Trump is 11 votes short of victory.

Andrew Prokop/Vox

Therefore, for Trump, the general voting error of 3 points is not enough. He also needs to come up with 11 electoral votes where Biden’s leadership is greater.

According to the average of the FiveThirtyEight poll on October 28, this is the next level of competition.

The most obvious chance for Trump to win is in Pennsylvania-this is the closest state among these states and the state with the most votes among them.

Of course, Trump won Pennsylvania last time. But the 2016 polls did not show that he is behind now. (The RealClearPolitics average shows that Clinton leads 2.1 percentage points; Trump won 0.7 percentage points, so Trump’s gross profit is underestimated by 2.8).

If Trump loses Pennsylvania, his road to victory will be more challenging. The polls in Nevada are almost the same as Pennsylvania, but this is a small state with only six electoral votes, so Trump needs to win elsewhere to get the 11 electoral votes he needs.

Winning Michigan alone can make Trump top the list, but Biden’s lead in the polls is 8.3 percentage points. Winning only Wisconsin or only Minnesota’s election will give Trump 269 votes, but if he also does not win the Nebraska second district election, the election will be tied 269-269 and the House of Representatives Decided. (This is not a direct vote of members of the House of Representatives. In this year’s election, no matter which party has a majority in more state delegations, it can be crowned in the next presidential election.)

However, several of Trump’s goals have something in common: they are part of the region, which turned sharply to Trump in 2016.

Opinion polls underestimated Trump’s profit margins in most states in 2016, but the error rate in or near the Midwest was above average (in Minnesota, Trump was underestimated by 8 points and in Wisconsin by 7 points. Ohio and Iowa underestimate by 6 points, Michigan is close to 4 points, and Pennsylvania is close to 3 points). Note that all these polling errors are in the same direction. There is no swing in the region that underestimates Clinton.

And, as David Wasserman of the Cook Political Report writes, it is unclear whether state pollsters have completely resolved their problems in the Midwest after 2016. The poll averages for key races in mid-2018 tend to underestimate Republicans there again, although generally less than in 2016. One possibility: voters with low social trust are less likely to talk to pollsters. )

Nonetheless, the polls are now bad enough for Trump, and he has to hope that, in addition to the national poll errors that will help him in other swing states, there is also an oversized Midwest poll error. Or delay to work-enough to tip Pennsylvania or Michigan or other game combinations by his side. This is the path to victory for his electoral college. This is unlikely, but not impossible.

Trump may have other ideas

This will be Trump’s path to a legal victory. But based on the expectation that mail voting will be more inclined to the Democratic Party and face-to-face voting will be more inclined to the Republican Party, he may have other options.

Trump seriously hinted that he wants to declare victory on election night-then, if a slower number of mail votes push major countries to Biden, he will try to devalue the fraudulent or illegality of those mail tickets.

If Trump follows this path, he will try to erase millions of legal stamps in an attempt to effectively steal the election from Biden.

You may be relieved that state election officials are too professional to do this. But the president is technically appointed by the electoral college, and these voters themselves can be appointed by the state legislature, which is controlled by the Republicans in several major states.

Therefore, if Trump tries to declare victory based on false accusations of mailed tickets, will the Republican legislature contend with it? We can’t say with certainty that Barton Gellman in the Atlantic had some more shocking circumstances a few weeks ago. If the legislature does this, will the court allow it? We can’t say with certainty, but Trump’s two Supreme Court justices, Neil Gollach and Brett Kavanov, made it clear this week that they believe that the state legislature does have absolute control over the operation of state elections. that power.

However, Trump has a trap. Because of the different ways of counting votes in different states, this situation is called the “Red Sea City Rage Building” (seemingly the leading edge of the Republican Party on election night, as more and more Democratic mail votes are slowly counted and gradually Disappear), this situation will only rarely have a critical swing this year. Most notably, this is the classic trio of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, all of which have Republican legislatures. (Votes for these three types of mail are slow because Republican lawmakers refuse to allow the voting process to begin earlier.)

Therefore, in some other swing states, we may actually get the “blue ocean city rage floor”-a rapid count of a large number of mail votes, but face-to-face voting subsequently improved the Republican total. For example, this is likely to happen in Florida.

Many of the states Biden currently leads-Florida, North Carolina, Arizona, Iowa, and Georgia-are expected to be counted soon. So if Trump wants to adopt this ugly strategy, it will only really work if Biden performs poorly in all these states on election night and the campaign falls to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan again.


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