As I write this article it is Saturday afternoon October 24, 2020. My predictions are based on the best data I have available coupled with my knowledge of political history, gut and fears. My short answer to the question: Who is going to win the 2020 race for the presidency is? I don’t know. It gets a whole lot more complicated and interesting. Let’s explore.
I started out my 2020 analysis months ago by accepting Republican political consultant Rick Wilson’s definition of the 15 battleground states (Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin). The science of political science is agnostic. Wilson and I will seldom agree on political philosophy but the numbers and constraints are non-partisan and devoid of philosophy.
I “awarded” the rest of the states to Biden and Trump. Biden ended up with 187 electoral votes from California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. Trump with 164 electoral votes from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming, I feel both projections are pretty solid. That left 187 votes from the original 15 battleground states and both candidates well short of but capable of reaching the 270 needed for election. (For the sake of simplicity I disregarded the fact that Maine and Nebraska are not winner take all states.) You will note that I did not fall for what I feel is the Democratic fool’s gold of claiming an upset or uncertainty in Texas. Trump will carry the Lone Star State. If somehow he doesn’t it is game over very quickly which I don’t anticipate.
Then I took a new look at the original 15 battleground states. I awarded Colorado, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Virginia to Biden for 56 electoral votes and a new total of 243 votes, still short of the magic number of 270 by 27 votes. Interestingly I have Arizona, Nevada and Wisconsin’s 27 electoral votes as leaning Biden. That would give him exactly 270 but I am not comfortable awarding him those states just yet.
I was not comfortable awarding any of the remaining original 15 battleground states to Trump or rating them as leaning Republican. I feel Florida, Georgia, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania are currently too close to call or even forecast as leaning. They have a total of 104 votes and if Trump swept them all he is at 268 and still needs 2 more electoral votes. In other words he would still need to “steal” a state from Biden or the leaning Biden columns. Not an easy task but not impossible either.
Biden has to be the favorite but the race is far, far from over! Trump has to have a good night and some help from his friends. 2016 showed us that he is capable of getting both. I cannot see a red wave but I can see the possibility of a blue one. That doesn’t mean either will happen. It is very likely that we will see voter intimidation and foreign interference on a scale never before experienced in an American election. It is also likely that we will see post-Election Day activity that will make 2000 look like a kumbaya event.
Stay tuned and in if you haven’t done so already VOTE!!!!!!
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