Visualizing A Closely Divided Electorate
Election polling in closely divided electorates like those in the U.S. right now demands a very high degree of precision from polling. Sizable differences in the margin between the candidates can result from relatively small errors in the composition of the sample. Changing a small share of the sample can make a big difference in the margin between two candidates.
To visualize how few voters need to change to affect the margin between the candidates, consider a hypothetical poll of 1,000 adults. One version shows Biden prevailing over Trump by 12 percentage points , while the version on the right shows the accurate election results. Biden voters are shown as blue squares and Trump voters as red squares , but the strip in the middle shows the voters who change from the left figure to the right one.
The version on the right shows the actual 2020 election results nationally a Biden advantage of a little more than 4 percentage points. The poll on the right was created by slightly increasing the representation of Trump voters and decreasing the representation of Biden voters, so that overall, the poll changes from a 12-point Biden advantage to a 4-point Biden advantage. This adjustment, in effect, flips the vote preferences of some of the voters. How many voters must be changed to move the margin from 12 points to about 4 points?
Gsa Delays Certifying Biden As President
Although all major media outlets called the election for Biden on November 7, the head of the General Services Administration , Trump appointee Emily W. Murphy, refused for over two weeks to certify Biden as the president-elect. Without formal GSA certification or “ascertainment” of the winner of the election, the official transition process was delayed. On November 23, Murphy acknowledged Biden as the winner and said the Trump administration would begin the formal transition process. Trump said he had instructed his administration to “do what needs to be done” but did not concede, and indicated he intended to continue his fight to overturn the election results.
Trump Must Win All Of The Swing States Where Biden Leads By 1 To 3 Points
Lets start off by reviewing what the electoral map would look like if the FiveThirtyEight polling averages were exactly on target.
Biden would win all the states Hillary Clinton won last time, plus Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Georgia, Maines Second District, and Nebraskas Second District. That would give Biden a decisive win with 357 electoral votes.
But when you look a little closer, some of those leads for Biden in key states arent really that large. FiveThirtyEight has him ahead by just 1 to 3 points in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Iowa, Georgia, and Maines Second District.
Poll leads of 1 to 3 points are not safe. Polling errors of that magnitude are common, and several swing state polling averages underestimated Trumps margin by a few points or more in 2016.
Specifically, of the states listed above, the RealClearPolitics averages undershot Trumps margin by 6.5 points in Iowa, 2.7 percentage points in North Carolina, 1 point in Florida, and 0.3 percentage points in Georgia, while they underestimated Clintons margin by 0.5 percentage points in Arizona.
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What 2020s Election Poll Errors Tell Us About The Accuracy Of Issue Polling
Pew Research Center conducted this study to understand how errors in correctly representing the level of support for Joe Biden and Donald Trump in preelection polling could affect the accuracy of questions in those same polls that measure public opinion on issues. Specifically, if polls about issues are underrepresenting the Republican base the way that many 2020 preelection polls appeared to, how inaccurate would they be on measures of public opinion about issues? We investigated by taking a set of surveys that measured a wide range of issue attitudes and using a statistical procedure known as weighting to have them mirror two different scenarios. One scenario mirrored the true election outcome among voters . For this analysis, we used several surveys conducted in 2020 with more than 10,000 members of Pew Research Centers American Trends Panel , an online survey panel that is recruited through national, random sampling of residential addresses that ensures that nearly all U.S. adults have a chance of selection. Questions in these surveys measured opinions on issues such as health care, the proper scope of government, immigration, race, and the nations response to the coronavirus pandemic. These opinions were examined to see how they differed between the two scenarios.
Talking Transitions: Perspectives For First
This three-hour event investigated a key moment in every presidency
The Miller Center joined the Partnership for Pubic Services Center for Presidential Transition to explore safe and effective presidential transition to first-term and second-term administrations. The event featured perspectives on transition planning, managing transitions during crises, and the complexities of shifting from campaigning to governing. Appearing were experts such as Joshua Bolten, Andy Card, Denis McDonough, Mack McLarty, Stephen Hadley, Lisa Monaco, John Podesta, Barbara Perry, Melody Barnes, Alexis Herman, Valerie Jarrett, Karen Hughes, and Margaret Spellings.
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A 10 Percent Chance Isnt Zero And Theres A Chance Of A Recount Too
ILLUSTRATION BY FIVETHIRTYEIGHT / FABIO BUONOCORE
Its tempting to write this story in the form of narrative fiction: On a frigid early December morning in Washington, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that disputed mail ballots in Pennsylvania You know, that kind of thing. But given the stakes in this election, I think its important to be prosaic and sober-minded instead.
So lets state a few basic facts: The reasons that President Trumps chances in our forecast are about 10 percent and not zero:
- As in 2016, Trump could potentially benefit from the Electoral College. Projected than the margins in the national popular vote.
- More specifically, Joe Bidens lead in Pennsylvania the most likely tipping-point state, according to our forecast is solid but not spectacular: about 5 points in our polling average.
- Without Pennsylvania, Biden does have some paths to victory, but theres no one alternative state he can feel especially secure about.
- While a lot of theories about why Trump can win are probably wrong, systematic polling errors do occur, and its hard to predict them ahead of time or to anticipate the reasons in advance.
- There is some chance that Trump could win illegitimately. To a large extent, these scenarios are beyond the scope of our forecast.
- Theres also some chance of a recount or an Electoral College tie , according to our forecast.
Voter Suppression And Court Challenges
Republicans have been trying, with legislation and court battles, to restrict absentee balloting, which could make the difference in a close election.
Surround the counters, find friendly governors and commissioners who wont certify the vote, said Susan Estrich, who managed the 1988 presidential campaign of Michael S. Dukakis. Stuart Stevens, a Republican consultant who is now a critic of the president, said that Mr. Trumps only realistic hope is voter suppression through every means possible.
Mr. Trump has surprised the world before. But even accounting for his loyal base, and his tenacity as a campaigner, Republicans and Democrats say Mr. Trumps political future may now be out of his hands.
Its been locked in for months, and is now moving away from him even further post-debate, said Mark Salter, a senior adviser to Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee in 2008. I suppose some unforeseen catastrophe or huge Biden mistake might reverse the trend, but it seems pretty clear that a majority of voters want to get Trump the hell out of there before he screws up even more.
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Registered Voters Divided On Which Candidate Will Win
Overall, registered voters are divided over who they think will win the 2020 November election: While 50% of voters believe that Trump will win the presidential election, 48% predict a victory for Biden.
And although voters predictions for who will win the presidential election largely align with their candidate preference, voters who support Trump or lean toward voting for him are slightly more likely than Biden supporters to say that their candidate will win .
Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, majorities of voters consistently expected a Hillary Clinton victory. In August of 2016, 55% said Clinton would win, compared with 42% who expected Trump to win.
Trump supporters are far more confident their candidate will win today than they were four years ago. Currently, 90% of Trump supporters expect him to win at about the same point in the campaign four years ago, only 74% of Trump supporters said he would prevail over Clinton.
Today, voters who are more certain of their choice in candidate are more likely to expect that their candidate will win the 2020 election. Nearly all strong Trump supporters expect him to win, compared with 77% of his more moderate supporters. Similarly, among Biden supporters, those who support Biden strongly are more likely than those who support him moderately to expect him to win the November election.
How Trump And Biden Supporters Would React To Victory And Defeat
When asked about their reactions to the outcome of the November 2020 election, voters say they would have more positive reactions to Biden winning the election than to Trump being reelected president. And voters reactions to Trumps possible reelection are more intense both positively and negatively than to a Biden victory.
About half of registered voters say they would be excited or relieved if Biden was elected president, while 47% say they would be disappointed or angry.
Among voters who say they would react positively to a Biden victory, far more would be relieved than excited . Among those who expect to react negatively, more say they would be disappointed than angry .
More voters say they would react to a Trump victory with negative than positive emotions. Nearly twice as many voters say they would be angry if Trump wins reelection than if Biden is elected president .
Yet somewhat more voters also say they would be excited by a Trump victory than a Biden victory.
Although both Trump and Biden supporters express positive reactions to their own candidate winning the November election, Trump supporters are about twice as likely to say to say they would be excited if their candidate won the 2020 election than Biden supporters are of their own candidate.
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Trump Lost The 2020 Election To Biden But Could He Win In 2024
Although President Donald Trump isnt acknowledging it publicly, he has lost the 2020 election to former Vice President Joe Biden. The two most recent examples of defeated one-term presidents, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, quickly conceded defeat and retired from public office, continuing to work for nonprofits or writing books while preparing their presidential libraries. But that doesnt seem a likely path for Trump, who has still refused to even concede to the president-elect.
The two most recent examples of defeated one-term presidents, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush, quickly conceded defeat and retired from public office.
Hopefully, once the Trump campaigns various legal challenges have predictably fizzled out, we will see a peaceful transition of power by the inauguration. But Trump leaving the Oval Office in January doesnt mean he has to leave it forever. Instead, rumors are already circulating that hell attempt another run for the presidency in 2024.
In many ways, our era actually resembles the late 19th century politically.
Takeaways: Big Trump Win Election Deniers Advance In Nevada
WASHINGTON Donald Trump notched a significant victory in South Carolina, where his preferred candidate easily ousted five-term Rep. Tom Rice, the first Republican to be booted from office after voting to impeach the former president last year. But another high-profile GOP target of Trump in the state, Rep. Nancy Mace, held back a challenger.
Meanwhile, in Nevada on Tuesday, two election deniers who have tirelessly promoted the former presidents lies about voter fraud won their primaries for key positions of power in the state.
Takeaways from the latest round of primary elections:
SPLIT DECISION IN SOUTH CAROLINA
Their transgressions? Mace stated on national TV that Trumps entire legacy was wiped out by the attack, while Rice became an apostate for joining a small group of Republicans who voted with Democrats in favor of Trumps second impeachment.
He threw a temper tantrum that culminated with the sacking of the United States Capitol, Rice told NBC News on Monday. Its a direct attack on the Constitution, and he should be held accountable.
ELECTION DENIERS ADVANCE IN NEVADA
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What May Be Ahead
Clashes over the judicial response to Trumps claims may be part of upcoming judicial elections, including efforts to seat more judges who would be receptive to fraud claims. An October 2021 Wall Street Journal editorial supporting a Republican candidate for an open Pennsylvania Supreme Court seat argued, After Pennsylvanias 2020 election mess, the state Supreme Court needs an injection of judicial restraint.
Election volitivity could be enhanced if Trump, unlike during the recent litigation cycle, injects himself into campaigns to unseat judges who rejected, or express skepticism about, election fraud claims.
In short, although Trump clearly lost the 2020 election litigation battle, he received more judicial support than generally realized. That and other factors may suggest rosier prospects for him in court battles over the 2024 election.
- Copyright 2022 The Brookings Institution
The Potential To Do ‘big Stuff’
Graham, who is currently facing calls to testify in a criminal probe related to Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, said Trump would now be able to position himself as the president of hope and action as the political and economic climate darkens under President Joe Biden.
Here’s what Trump might say, said Graham.
“Alright, you’ve lived through four years of this. You get a chance to start over,” he said.
“Remember me? I may not be your cup of tea, but when I was president, our border was secure, we had the lowest illegal crossings in 40 years. I did it,” he continued.
“When I was president, I stood up to China and they listened. When I was president, we had the strongest military since Ronald Reagan. When I was president, I destroyed the caliphate. When I was president, we had conservative judges, not liberal judges. He has a story to tell,” said Graham.
Ultimately, however, Graham acknowledged that it may take more than policy pledges for Trump to regain favor among American voters.
“His problem is personal,” he said. “His policies have stood the test of time. But has he worn the American people out in terms of his personality? Time will tell.”
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Trump May Have Something Else In Mind
This would be Trumps path to a legitimate victory. But he may also have something else up his sleeve, based on the expectation that mail votes will be more Democratic-leaning while in-person votes will be more Republican-leaning.
Trump has heavily implied that he hopes to declare victory on election night and then, if slower counts of mail ballots tip the key states toward Biden, he will attempt to disparage those mail votes as fraudulent or illegitimate.
Big problems and discrepancies with Mail In Ballots all over the USA. Must have final total on November 3rd.
Donald J. Trump
If Trump goes down this path, he will be trying to erase millions of legitimately cast mail votes in an attempt to effectively steal the election from Biden.
You might be comforted by the idea that state election officials are too professional to let this happen. But the president is technically named by the Electoral College and those electors themselves can be named by state legislatures, which in several key states are controlled by Republicans.
Theres a catch for Trump, though. Due to the differing ways states carry out their vote counts, the scenario that has been called a red mirage a seeming Republican lead on election night that gradually vanishes as more Democratic mail votes are slowly counted is only likely to occur in a few key swing states this year. Most notably, its the classic trio of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, all of which have Republican legislatures.
Election Deniers Who Say Trump Won In 2020 Are Running To Be Top Cop In Four Battleground States
If they win, theyd serve as their states’ top law enforcement officers and would have the power to use their office to tilt the outcome of presidential elections. If Trump should run again in 2024, and the outcome is close in a handful of states, the actions attorneys general are able to take could also give Trump cover to claim falsely claim victory once again.
To the extent that election results are challenged, or that there are attempts to undermine results, it will be the state attorneys general representing the state and the results in court that perhaps matters most to protecting the will of the voters, said Joanna Lydgate, the CEO of States United Action, a nonpartisan group that tracks the races.
Along with the governor and, in most states, the secretary of state, the state attorney general is part of a trio of elected officials who oversee, administer, defend and certify elections and election results. Election deniers are also running in many states for secretary of state and governor.
It really matters that your attorney general is committed to defending the vote, no matter what the outcome is, Lydgate said.
This is what the election denying attorney general candidates in those states have said:
Gordon didnt respond to questions from NBC News.
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