All You Need to Know #22

The 2020 US Presidential Election

This is it! By next weekend, the election will have taken place. We’ll have transitioned from the election itself to the post-election transition. We know Trump won’t concede under any circumstances. We know Biden has a very good chance to win or even get a landslide. We also know Trump could still win. His chances might be low, but they’re not zero.

So let’s look at some final details as we round the corner.

FiveThirtyEight’s super helpful snake chart looks like this:

The 8 closest states look like this as of this writing:

Michigan: 54/45 (+9 Biden)
Wisconsin: 54/46 (+7 Biden)
Minnesota: 53/45 (+8 Biden)
Nevada: 53/46 (+7 Biden)
Pennsylvania: 52/47 (+5 Biden)
—— This is where Biden wins ——
Arizona: 51/48 (+3 Biden)
Florida: 51/49 (+2 Biden)
North Carolina: 51/49 (+2 Biden)

Meanwhile, here’s what RealClearPolitics says about swing states. Biden is up by 3.2% on average, after averaging 4.5% for the two weeks before that. This is the tightening that both campaigns have been expecting.

But wait, not so fast. FiveThirtyEight did a big analysis of the race overall, and they found that things have continued to be remarkably stable since the last debate. Here’s the overall change showing less than a percentage point:

And here’s the midwest, showing a 1.7% gain for Biden:

The south changed by 0.1% towards Trump, the west changed 1.1% towards Biden, and so forth. The race is a nailbiter more because we’re scared and less because the numbers are actually painting a scary story. Youth turnout is up, overall voting is up, indies are swinging to Biden, and there just aren’t enough polling errors in the world to justify explaining how Michigan’s 9% Biden lead is going to magically disappear. And if Trump can’t get a bunch of tied states, plus states where he’s behind by two, plus Pennsylvania where he’s behind by five, he’s toast. It’s as simple as that. This race is not as complicated as we’re making it out to be. Trump can still win, but he’s not favoured.

I recently saw a comment on Reddit that bears repeating over and over until we are finally through Election Day. You might enjoy it too.

Modern polling is very good and most of them show Joe leading comfortably in the swing states he needs to win this election, in many cases above 50% to render meaningless the impact of undecideds, who he also polls favorably with.

This election isn’t close. The 90% of Republicans who think Trump is gonna win (Gallup) are simply misinformed or self delusional. The Democratic doomers are learning the absolutely wrong lesson from 2016. The solution to misinterpreting data is not to ignore it completely.

There is no possible reason to stress out between now and election day. Enough people are already decided. If Joe Biden passes away in the next seven days, his ticket will still get enough votes to propel Kamala to the presidency. I say this knowing full well that many people’s lives will be irreparably harmed by a second Trump term, but like an asteroid strike or a supervolcano eruption, such a low probability event is not worth me worrying about.

On November 3rd, I’m going to open a big bottle of champagne, a big bag of popcorn, and watch the MAGA meltdown on conservative Twitter.

And with that, we’re all done with All You Need To Know! I’m not going to be updating this project anymore, but I am eyeing some other projects.

First, Jacinda & Joe is where I’ll be writing about Jacinda Ardern & Joe Biden to find similarities and differences between their new governments.

Next, I’d like to show you a Medium publication I ran back in 2016 called 90 Days of Trump. The idea is that I write articles in real time, but then postpone their publication for 90 days, like a time capsule. I started it up again a while ago so the first 90 Day time capsule will be unearthed in December. Go take a look and we’ll see how right or wrong conventional wisdom ends up being!

Finally, I have a talk coming up in a few weeks called And Now the Good News. Because despite how freaked out we all are right now, things are objectively improving across most metrics. Even Covid and Trump! Think about it: by next year Trump and Covid will still exist, but won’t feel as much like an existential threat, thanks to the efforts of millions of people around the world.

It’s a scary time, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Let’s do this.

Designer, writer, teacher. I love building things.