If Election Today more aggressive + 2016 Polling Error assumes same polling errors



Win Probability
(with same polling errors as 2016)

This version of the model assumes every state has the same polling error (polls on election day vs actual result) as it did in 2016.

 
78.8%
Biden
305.2 Electoral Votes
20.7%
Trump
232.8 Electoral Votes
 



Electoral Votes





States

Biden
State Republican Democrat Diff 2016 Polling
Error Adjustment
Change from
2016 Results
EC Projection
Safe D District of Columbia (3) 4.1% 90.5% +86.4% - +0% 3 100%
Massachusetts (11) 30% 65.6% +35.6% - +8.4% 14 100%
California (55) 29% 62.6% +33.6% - +3.5% 69 100%
Hawaii (4) 30% 62.2% +32.2% - +0% 73 100%
New York (29) 30.1% 59.3% +29.2% - +6.7% 102 100%
Vermont (3) 30.3% 56.7% +26.4% - +0% 105 100%
Washington (12) 33.1% 58.8% +25.7% - +10% 117 100%
Maryland (10) 34.9% 59.7% +24.8% - +1.6% 127 100%
Connecticut (7) 32% 54.7% +22.7% - +9.1% 134 100%
New Jersey (14) 35.4% 54.5% +19.1% - +5.1% 148 100%
Illinois (20) 38.8% 55.8% +17% - +0.1% 168 100%
Maine CD-1 (1) 39.8% 56.3% +16.5% - +8.6% 169 100%
Delaware (3) 39.9% 56.2% +16.3% - +4.9% 172 100%
Colorado (9) 39.4% 55.6% +16.2% - +11.3% 181 100%
Rhode Island (4) 38.9% 54.4% +15.5% - +0% 185 100%
New Mexico (5) 39% 54.1% +15.1% - +6.9% 190 99%
Likely D Nebraska CD-2 (1) 42.3% 52.6% +10.3% - +12.5% 191 90%
Oregon (7) 39.1% 50.1% +11% - +0% 198 87%
Michigan (16) 42.1% 48.3% +6.2% - +6.4% 214 84%
Lean D Minnesota (10) 44.9% 52.1% +7.2% - +5.7% 224 79%
Virginia (13) 42.4% 49.9% +7.5% - +2.2% 237 78%
Florida (29) 43.3% 47.5% +4.2% - +5.4% 266 74%
Nevada (6) Tipping Point 43.6% 48.6% +5% - +3.5% 272 71%
Maine (2) 45.7% 49.6% +3.9% - +0.9% 274 67%
Toss Up Pennsylvania (20) 44.1% 47% +2.9% - +3.6% 294 62%
New Hampshire (4) 45.5% 48.7% +3.2% - +2.8% 298 59%
Wisconsin (10) 44% 46.3% +2.3% - +3.1% 308 57%
Arizona (11) 45.9% 45.9% - - +3.5% 319 62%
Lean R Georgia (16) 47% 45.8% +1.2% - +3.9% 335 67%
Texas (38) 45.1% 45.8% +0.7% - +9.7% 373 67%
North Carolina (15) 47.3% 45.1% +2.2% - +1.5% 388 80%
Likely R Ohio (18) 48.7% 43.5% +5.2% - +2.9% 406 82%
Iowa (6) 48.8% 42.2% +6.6% - +2.8% 412 84%
Maine CD-2 (1) 51% 44% +7% - +3.3% 413 86%
Alaska (3) 50% 42.7% +7.3% - +7.4% 416 93%
Safe R Mississippi (6) 53.3% 38.7% +14.6% - +3.2% 422 100%
Indiana (11) 53.1% 35.8% +17.3% - +1.6% 433 100%
West Virginia (5) 72.8% 24.2% +48.6% - +6.5% 438 100%
Nebraska (2) 58.8% 33.7% +25.1% - +0.1% 440 100%
Wyoming (3) 67.4% 21.6% +45.8% - +0% 443 100%
Oklahoma (7) 61.6% 29.2% +32.4% - +4% 450 100%
North Dakota (3) 62.8% 30.9% +31.9% - +3.8% 453 100%
Idaho (4) 59.3% 27.5% +31.8% - +0% 457 100%
South Dakota (3) 61.5% 31.7% +29.8% - +0% 460 100%
Kentucky (8) 60.1% 33% +27.1% - +2.7% 468 100%
Tennessee (11) 59.2% 34.1% +25.1% - +0.9% 479 100%
Louisiana (8) 58.1% 38.5% +19.6% - +0% 487 100%
Kansas (6) 56.7% 35.6% +21.1% - +0.5% 493 100%
Alabama (9) 58.3% 37.2% +21.1% - +6.6% 502 100%
Nebraska CD-1 (1) 56.2% 35.5% +20.7% - +0% 503 100%
Utah (6) 52.4% 33.6% +18.8% - +0.7% 509 100%
South Carolina (9) 55.1% 39.6% +15.5% - +1.2% 518 100%
Missouri (10) 53.8% 39.2% +14.6% - +4% 528 100%
Montana (3) 53.4% 38.9% +14.5% - +5.9% 531 100%
Arkansas (6) 52.1% 39.9% +12.2% - +14.7% 537 100%
Nebraska CD-3 (1) 73.9% 19.7% +54.2% - +0% 538 100%
Total 39.9%
181 Electoral Votes
47.3%
346 Electoral Votes
D +7.4%
D +165 Electoral Votes
+5.3%
+242 Electoral Votes
78.8%
 
Clinton (2016) - Polls on 7/14
State Republican Democrat Diff Change from
2020 Polls
EC Projection
Safe D District of Columbia (3) 27.3% 62.2% +34.9% +51.5% 3 100%
Hawaii (4) 26.6% 59.5% +32.9% +0.7% 7 100%
California (55) 30.7% 56% +25.3% +8.3% 62 100%
New York (29) 35.2% 57.6% +22.4% +6.8% 91 100%
Maryland (10) 32.2% 53.2% +21% +3.8% 101 100%
Vermont (3) 27.8% 48.6% +20.8% +5.6% 104 100%
Massachusetts (11) 32.3% 51.8% +19.5% +16.1% 115 100%
Illinois (20) 35.1% 52.9% +17.8% +0.8% 135 100%
Rhode Island (4) 33.8% 48.9% +15.1% +0.4% 139 100%
Maine CD-1 (1) 34.9% 48.3% +13.4% +3.1% 140 100%
Washington (12) 32.9% 47.3% +14.4% +11.3% 152 100%
Connecticut (7) 38.1% 49.3% +11.2% +11.5% 159 100%
New Jersey (14) 37.2% 49.8% +12.6% +6.5% 173 97%
Likely D Delaware (3) 35.2% 44.5% +9.3% +7% 176 95%
Colorado (9) 39.1% 44.6% +5.5% +10.7% 185 81%
Lean D New Mexico (5) 36.2% 41.6% +5.4% +9.7% 190 79%
Oregon (7) 40.4% 44.7% +4.3% +6.7% 197 73%
Virginia (13) 40.6% 43.9% +3.3% +4.2% 210 67%
Toss Up Michigan (16) 40.1% 41.8% +1.7% +4.5% 226 58%
Minnesota (10) 38.7% 39.9% +1.2% +6% 236 57%
Wisconsin (10) 42.9% 43.6% +0.7% +1.6% 246 54%
Nevada (6) 45.4% 45.5% +0.1% +4.9% 252 51%
Florida (29) Tipping Point 46.2% 44.9% +1.3% +5.5% 281 62%
Nebraska CD-2 (1) 45.4% 42.9% +2.5% +12.8% 282 63%
Lean R Pennsylvania (20) 45.5% 43% +2.5% +5.4% 302 67%
New Hampshire (4) 45.9% 42.3% +3.6% +6.8% 306 67%
Arizona (11) 46.9% 41% +5.9% - 317 76%
North Carolina (15) 47.1% 42.7% +4.4% +2.2% 332 77%
Likely R Georgia (16) 49% 40.3% +8.7% +7.5% 348 83%
Maine (2) 43.3% 36.3% +7% +10.9% 350 84%
Ohio (18) 46.3% 41% +5.3% +0.1% 368 85%
Iowa (6) 46.3% 40.1% +6.2% +0.4% 374 87%
Utah (6) 43.4% 27.1% +16.3% +2.5% 380 87%
Montana (3) 46% 36.7% +9.3% +5.2% 383 95%
Safe R Texas (38) 47.5% 35.4% +12.1% +12.8% 421 98%
Nebraska CD-1 (1) 49.6% 28.9% +20.7% +0% 422 99%
Alaska (3) 47% 31.3% +15.7% +8.4% 425 100%
Wyoming (3) 61.5% 23.8% +37.7% +8.1% 428 100%
North Dakota (3) 60.8% 24.8% +36% +4.1% 431 100%
Idaho (4) 57.2% 21.6% +35.6% +3.8% 435 100%
Oklahoma (7) 60.1% 24.9% +35.2% +2.8% 442 100%
West Virginia (5) 59.9% 29.6% +30.3% +18.3% 447 100%
Tennessee (11) 56.9% 27% +29.9% +4.8% 458 100%
Alabama (9) 60.2% 32.6% +27.6% +6.5% 467 100%
Kansas (6) 53% 31.7% +21.3% +0.2% 473 100%
South Dakota (3) 50.2% 31% +19.2% +10.6% 476 100%
Mississippi (6) 56.9% 36.4% +20.5% +5.9% 482 100%
Kentucky (8) 54.1% 34.2% +19.9% +7.2% 490 100%
Arkansas (6) 53.6% 35.8% +17.8% +5.6% 496 100%
Maine CD-2 (1) 50% 32.9% +17.1% +10.1% 497 100%
Indiana (11) 52.3% 35.4% +16.9% +0.4% 508 100%
Louisiana (8) 53.5% 36.8% +16.7% +2.9% 516 100%
Nebraska (2) 50.3% 33.7% +16.6% +8.5% 518 100%
Missouri (10) 50.7% 35.3% +15.4% +0.8% 528 100%
South Carolina (9) 50.4% 36.3% +14.1% +1.4% 537 100%
Nebraska CD-3 (1) 67.8% 13.6% +54.2% - 538 100%
Total 41.3%
286 Electoral Votes
44.9%
252 Electoral Votes
D +3.6%
R +34 Electoral Votes
+3.8% 63.6%
 
Clinton (2016) - Polls on Election Day
State Republican Democrat Diff Change from
2020 Polls
EC Projection
Safe D District of Columbia (3) 1.1% 87.5% +86.4% - 3 100%
Washington (12) 34.5% 50.2% +15.7% +10% 15 100%
Hawaii (4) 24.4% 56.6% +32.2% - 19 100%
Delaware (3) 36.7% 48.1% +11.4% +4.9% 22 100%
Connecticut (7) 36.6% 50.3% +13.7% +9% 29 100%
New Jersey (14) 36.6% 50.6% +14% +5.1% 43 100%
Rhode Island (4) 34.2% 49.7% +15.5% - 47 100%
Oregon (7) 36.4% 47.4% +11% - 54 100%
Illinois (20) 34.5% 51.5% +17% - 74 100%
New York (29) 32.4% 54.9% +22.5% +6.7% 103 100%
Maryland (10) 30.4% 56.8% +26.4% +1.6% 113 100%
Vermont (3) 26.4% 52.8% +26.4% +0% 116 100%
Massachusetts (11) 28.8% 56% +27.2% +8.4% 127 100%
California (55) 28.1% 58.2% +30.1% +3.5% 182 100%
New Mexico (5) 35.5% 43.8% +8.3% +6.8% 187 99%
Maine CD-1 (1) 40.1% 48% +7.9% +8.6% 188 97%
Virginia (13) 40.9% 46.2% +5.3% +2.2% 201 96%
Likely D Colorado (9) 39.3% 44.2% +4.9% +11.3% 210 92%
Lean D Maine (2) 40.2% 43.1% +2.9% +1% 212 78%
Nevada (6) 42.7% 44.2% +1.5% +3.5% 218 68%
Toss Up Minnesota (10) 39.6% 41.1% +1.5% +5.7% 228 65%
New Hampshire (4) 42.7% 43.1% +0.4% +2.8% 232 55%
Michigan (16) 42.6% 42.4% +0.2% +6.4% 248 52%
Wisconsin (10) 43.3% 42.6% +0.7% +3% 258 58%
Pennsylvania (20) Tipping Point 44.9% 44.2% +0.7% +3.6% 278 59%
Nebraska CD-2 (1) 45.9% 43.6% +2.3% +12.6% 279 64%
Lean R Florida (29) 46.4% 45.2% +1.2% +5.4% 308 66%
Likely R Arizona (11) 45.2% 41.6% +3.6% - 319 86%
North Carolina (15) 47% 43.4% +3.6% +1.4% 334 90%
Safe R Georgia (16) 47.6% 42.4% +5.2% +4% 350 97%
Maine CD-2 (1) 46.9% 36.6% +10.3% +3.3% 351 99%
Nebraska (2) 54.2% 29.1% +25.1% +0% 353 100%
Wyoming (3) 64.7% 18.9% +45.8% +0% 356 100%
West Virginia (5) 64.5% 22.4% +42.1% +6.5% 361 100%
Oklahoma (7) 61.1% 24.7% +36.4% +4% 368 100%
North Dakota (3) 59.1% 23.3% +35.8% +3.9% 371 100%
Idaho (4) 54.7% 22.9% +31.8% +0% 375 100%
South Dakota (3) 55.5% 25.7% +29.8% - 378 100%
Kentucky (8) 59.4% 29.6% +29.8% +2.7% 386 100%
Alabama (9) 58.6% 30.9% +27.7% +6.6% 395 100%
Arkansas (6) 56.9% 30% +26.9% +14.7% 401 100%
Tennessee (11) 56.3% 30.3% +26% +0.9% 412 100%
Montana (3) 51.3% 30.9% +20.4% +5.9% 415 100%
Nebraska CD-1 (1) 49.6% 28.9% +20.7% +0% 416 100%
Kansas (6) 52.5% 31.9% +20.6% +0.5% 422 100%
Louisiana (8) 53.9% 34.3% +19.6% - 430 100%
Indiana (11) 52.3% 33.4% +18.9% +1.6% 441 100%
Missouri (10) 52.5% 33.8% +18.7% +4.1% 451 100%
Utah (6) 41.1% 23.1% +18% +0.8% 457 100%
Mississippi (6) 53.4% 35.6% +17.8% +3.2% 463 100%
Alaska (3) 47.6% 32.9% +14.7% +7.4% 466 100%
South Carolina (9) 51.3% 37.1% +14.2% +1.3% 475 100%
Iowa (6) 46.8% 37.3% +9.5% +2.9% 481 100%
Texas (38) 47.9% 38.9% +9% +9.7% 519 100%
Ohio (18) 47.7% 39.6% +8.1% +2.9% 537 100%
Nebraska CD-3 (1) 67.8% 13.6% +54.2% - 538 100%
Total 42.6%
306 Electoral Votes
44.7%
232 Electoral Votes
D +2.1%
R +74 Electoral Votes
+5.3% 67.2%
 



Change from 2016

Here we see how each state currently compares to 2016 (both the 2016 polling and results).

The thick line the arrows are poingint to marks the current 2020 polling. The smaller, lighter lines are the 2016 polling/results.
The bar and arrow between them shows how the numbers have swung. The bar/arrow will be blue if it's now more Democratic or red it it's more Republican.
More blue bars means the country has swung more Democratic, more red bars means it's more Republican.

You can click '2016 Polls' or '2020 Results' just below this to toggle them on/off for a clearer view.




Polls

National Polling Average

 
47.3%
Biden (+7.4%)
39.9%
Trump
 



Updates

7/13
Montana polls jumped 3.1% toward Biden (was R+17.6%, now R+14.5%)
Missouri polls jumped 2.1% toward Trump (was R+12.5%, now R+14.6%)
Minnesota changed from Likely Biden to Lean Biden
7/12
Texas polls jumped 2.5% toward Biden (was R+1.8%, now D+0.7%)
North Carolina changed from Likely Trump to Lean Trump
Nebraska CD-2 polls jumped 5.7% toward Trump (was D+16%, now D+10.3%)
Nebraska CD-2 changed from Safe Biden to Likely Biden
Georgia polls jumped 1.5% toward Trump (was D+0.3%, now R+1.2%)
Georgia changed from Toss Up to Lean Trump
7/10
Alabama polls jumped 2.2% toward Biden (was R+23.3%, now R+21.1%)
Virginia polls jumped 1.7% toward Biden (was D+5.9%, now D+7.6%)
7/9
North Carolina changed from Lean Trump to Likely Trump
7/8
North Carolina changed from Likely Trump to Lean Trump





Methodology

This is a pretty simple aggregation of state level polling for the 2020 presidential general election. We pull the latest polling data, pollster rating, and pollster bias is from FiveThirtyEight's git repo. We do a few things to calculate the weight of each poll (see below) then run 20,000 election simulations each day to determine a probability of each candidate winning overall and in each state (again, see below).

This model checks for the latest polls every 30 minutes and, if new polls are found, it re-runs all needed simulations. Note: for some states (smaller, less competitive ones) we may have no polls. In that case we use the 2016 vote % for that state instead (these are faded out and italics in the states list). And we also take past election results (2016-2000) into account when calculating probability, though the more polls we have in a state, the less the past results are considered.

Charts

The top Win Probability chart shows how our model's calculated win probability for each candidate has changed over the last several months.

The Electoral Votes chart below shows each state and its current polling leader. The color is shaded by how 'safe' it is (how far ahead the winning candidate is). You can hover over to see the current polling difference, the number of electoral votes the state has, and the total number of electoral votes the current leader in that state would have if they won that state.

Below that we also show a chart of how the electoral votes have changed over time. The dotted line is the electoral votes a candidate would have won if the polls were exactly right. The solid line is the 'Estimated' electoral votes for that candidate, which is to say the average electoral votes they won on that days simulations.

States

In the States section, we show the current polling gap, the swing from the 2016 results, and a projection of the win probability for each state. The 'Tipping Point' state (which, here, is the state at which the election would be won as determined by the current polls) is shaded in either blue or red.

You can click on a state's name to view a much fuller picture of that state: the current win probability and how it's changed over time, the swing from 2016, a bell curve of how our simulations currently see the race, and the latest polls as well as how the polling average has changed over time.

Change From 2016

The Change From 2016 section shows how each state's numbers have changed from 2016 to today. For each state (and Nationally) it shows both how the 2016 polls compare to the 2020 polls and how the 2016 results compare to the 2020 polls.

Polls

The Polls section shows a list of all the 2020 election cycle polls we use in the model (and the national polls used in our avearge, they're not used in the model). As well the adjusted polling numbers and the weight we give to each poll.

Here it's important to point out how we adjust polls and calculate their weight.

Poll Adjustment
Polls are adjusted based upon the pollster bias as determined by FiveThirtyEight's pollster ratings, using their 'Mean-Reverted Bias' value. You can see the result of this adjustment in the Polls section's 'Diff (adj)' column. Those adjust polling numbers are what we use throughout the model.

Poll Weight
When calculating the weight to give a poll, we start with a value of 1. We have several things that can either add or remove weight from that value. These are:

  • Age of the Poll: The older the poll, the less weight is has. That weight degradation slows over time. But as we get nearer the election, the degradation speeds up.
  • Pollster Rating: Again, we use FiveThirtyEight's pollster ratings. If it's a good pollster (ex: an 'A+' rating) we don't take away any weight. If it's not good (ex: a 'D' rating) we take away quite a bit of weight (in our 'D' rating example, we take away 0.3). If a pollster doesn't have a rating, we assume it's a D rated pollster.
  • Sample Size: If a poll's sample size is less than 1,000, we take away a bit of weight. If it's over 1,000, we add a bit of weight. Each one is a sliding scale, with limits of how much weight can be added or removed just by sample size.
  • Voters in Poll: If a poll is of a 'Likely Voters' we give it more weight. If it's 'Registered Voters' we do nothing. If it's 'All Adults' we take away some weight.

When a poll's weight drops below a certain point, we stop using it in the model. Though we do make sure each state uses at least 4 polls (if available).

Win Probability / Projections

When we're calculating the Win Probability for each candidate (overall and in each state) we do the following:

  • Calculate a range of polling changes to test for each state based upon the following:
    • How many (and how high quality) the polls are in that state
    • How far the numbers are from 50%
    • How many 'Undecided' voters are in the state's polls
  • Then in each simulation we use that calculated range to randomly select a polling swing. More simulations are done with swings closer to the current polling, fewer are done with the furthest swings.
  • We also adjust testing so that it can calculate different regional swings as follows (each state gets its own swing, but sometimes in line with other states):
    • 30% of tests - states in the same defined 'region' move together (ex: Pennsylvania and Michigan might move together, but Arizona and Texas might move in another direction)
    • 40% of tests - the country as a whole moves in a smiliar direction (ex: a test assumes most polls change to bump up Trump by around 2 points, though, again, the actual swing in each state will be adjusted slightly)
    • 20% of tests - states all swing independently of each other (ex: the simulation might give Trump another 4% in Michigan, but give Biden another 2% in Pennsylvania)
  • As the election gets nearer, we give more weight to more recent polls and assume the polls will swing less than they do, say, 6 months out. Which is to say, the model gets more aggressive as we near the election. You can see that aggressive election day version of the model by clicking the If Election Today filter.

Every day we run 20,000 simulations of the election and then spit out the numbers we found as the probability overall and in each state.

Compare to 2016

One of my favorite features is the ability to Compare To 2016 (now always shown). This runs the 2016 data through the same model to show you what it would have said about that election. Again, I used FiveThirtyEight's 2016 Polling data.

Clearly, this model gave Clinton a high chance to win in 2016. And she lost, so take that as you will. But, another fun feature is the ability to Assume the Same Polling Errors as 2016 ('Errors' of course isn't the right word, polls aren't meant to be perfect, but it's the best word I could think of). This takes all the current 2020 state level polling averages and adjusts them by how far off the polls were in 2016 from the actual results, then runs the simulations.

So, some nifty features. But this model is ultimately pretty simple in that it's based solely on state level polling data. As such...

What's Missing

The model is based 100% on state level polling data (with just a dash of past election results thrown in). It does NOT include some stuff other models might include, like:

  • Fundamentals - it doesn't factor in presidential approval ratings, economic indicators, etc.
  • Demographics - it doesn't look at a state's demographics or states with similar demographics or anything like that.
  • Expert Predictions - it doesn't include anything like the ratings from Cook Political Report or other experts.
  • Down Ballot Polls - it doesn't take senate or house race polls (or results) into account
  • National Polls - it specifically avoids national numbers (we show the average, but don't use it in our state by state projections at all), it tries its best to look just as the electoral college.

If you're looking for stuff like that, there are several other good models out there I've seen. Just to name a few:

Again, this is pretty simple model...though increasingly more complex. It's mostly just something I'm doing for fun (and to give the false illusion of control in a chaotic time :) But it does accurately show what the polls are currently saying.

If you have any ideas or concerns or questions or know of any other models I should check out, please let me know! @electoralpolls