Election analyst Nate Silver runs a website called FiveThirtyEight.
His website now gives Joe Biden a 77 in 100 chance of winning (we call that a 77% chance, but whatever).
For the record, on Election Day 2016, at 10:41 a.m., Silver posted a story on FiveThirtyEight.
“Final Election Update: There’s A Wide Range Of Outcomes, And Most Of Them Come Up Clinton,” said his headline.
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Silver said his “forecast has Clinton favored in states and congressional districts totaling 323 electoral votes, including all the states President Obama won in 2012 except Ohio and Iowa, but adding North Carolina.” He hedged his bet a bit, though, saying Mrs. Clinton could lose North Carolina or Florida especially, so “the average number of electoral votes we forecast for Clinton is 302.”
Clinton lost both (North Carolina by a lot, 3.8%). She also lost Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin. In the end, she got crushed in the Electoral College, 304-227.
Silver in June came out with another prediction: A “Biden landslide is possible.” Really?
But there’s another recent survey that throws a monkey wrench into Silver’s predictions, saying “secret Trump supporters” in at least one swing state could signify more in other states.
The poll by Monmouth University of 401 Pennsylvania voters found that a majority of voters think there are Trump supporters out there who aren’t being counted. “The media consistently reports that Biden is in the lead, but voters remember what happened in 2016. The specter of a secret Trump vote looms large in 2020,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
“Most voters (57%) believe there are a number of so-called secret voters in their communities who support Trump but won’t tell anyone about it. Less than half that number (27%) believe there are secret voters for Biden. The suspicion that a secret Trump vote exists is slightly higher in swing counties (62%) and Clinton counties (61%) than in Trump counties (51%),” the pollsters wrote.
Believe the polls are your peril — and you might want to give FiveThirtyEight a pass altogether.