The major statistical analysis website FiveThirtyEight has US President Donald Trump’s odds of winning the November election at 29 percent – exactly the same chances he was said to have had in 2016 before he went on to win.
Nate Silver’s website, named for the total number of electors in the US electoral college, unveiled its forecast, based on 40 thousand simulations, on Wednesday. Democrat Joe Biden came out the overwhelming theoretical victor, with a 71 percent chance of getting into the Oval Office.
Biden’s formidable performance in the renowned agency’s modeling, combined with the comfortable polling lead he’s been enjoying for months, might seem to spell doom for Trump’s campaign. Silver himself noted it probably doesn’t, however.
“Coincidentally, these are the exact same odds as in our final forecast in 2016,” he tweeted, adding that while Trump’s eventual win went against most professional predictions, FiveThirtyEight was one of the few outlets that did not completely write off the current president.
Coincidentally, these are the exact same odds as in our final forecast in 2016!!!
(Clinton 71%, Trump 29%)
As was also the case in 2016, our model gives Trump a MUCH higher chance than other statistical models.
— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) August 12, 2020
“It’s way too soon to count Trump out,” says Silver in an article detailing his forecast. “If the election were held today, [Biden] might even win in a landslide,” he said, adding “but the election is not being held today.”
Historically, it’s been common for polls to shift “fairly radically” from mid-August to Election Day, Silver noted, and no model can predict the unpredictable, from the Covid-19 pandemic and the possible development of the vaccine to the ongoing Black Lives Matter protests.
In 2016, multiple prominent analysts concluded there was a 99 percent chance of Hillary Clinton becoming president. Since her loss, much of the faith in polling and modeling of any kind seems to have been shaken, as Trump himself often speaks about “fake polls” while reminding Americans he’s overcome the odds once already.
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