Election 2020: State of Play and Accuracy of Polls

UPDATED AT 4:00 PM CST, 11/04/20

In yesterday’s post, I forecast a 285-253 electoral-vote victory for Biden. As of this morning afternoon, according to FoxNews, Biden has locked up 264 electoral votes and is leading in three States (Michigan, Nevada, and Wisconsin) whose electoral votes would give him a total of 270 — just enough for victory. It’s possible that Biden’s total could be higher, given the number of votes still to be counted in Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, where Trump is currently ahead. And, of course, Biden could still lose any or all of the three undecided States where he is currently ahead. And both candidates can be expected to demand recounts, and recounts of recounts, and to seek judicial intervention all the way to the Supreme Court. But, whatever the outcome, I am pleased by the accuracy of my forecast. (Though I will be most displeased by the outcome if Biden proves to be the winner.)

I based my forecast on polling conducted by Rasmussen Reports, which has been my go-to source for presidential polling for the past 12 years. Rasmussen has acquired a bum rap for being pro-Republican because its generally accurate polls aren’t biased toward Democrats as are most other polls. This year’s presidential race provides further evidence of Rasmussen’s lack of bias.

As of now, Biden has a 2 percentage-point lead over Trump in the nationwide tally of popular votes. That lead might rise a bit when all of the Left Coast votes have been counted, but it’s statistically the same as the 1-percent edge forecast in Rasmussen’s final poll. And how did Rasmussen do relative to other major polls? See for yourself: