One way to see how likely an incumbent president will get re-elected is to look at their approval rating. Historically:
Trump currently has a 44% approval, which means he’s going to, at best got 48% of the vote. Then again, Bush beat Gore in 2000 with just under 48% of the vote, and Trump beat Clinton in 2016 with 46% of the vote. According to Nate Silver, a 2% popular vote victory for Biden means he only has a 41% chance of winning, a 3% popular vote victory gives him a 67% chance of winning, and a 4% popular vote victory gives Biden an 89% chance of winning.
So, while the approval ratings indicate that Biden will get a popular vote victory, it does not mean he will get the electoral vote victory he needs to win, but, based on 2004 and 1992 (the last two times a Republican incumbent has been up to reelection), it gives Biden about a 67% of winning.
Here in 2020, with things as polarized as they are—I did not see street picketing for candidates in previous elections like I have this year—there is a chance that Trump will energize enough voters to give him a vote closer to his approval rating. If Trump gets only 44% of the popular vote, Biden has a 97% chance of winning.
Here’s another prediction: An AI, called “Polly Pollster”, has been observing social media and seeing how people vote based on social media postings. While I have not been able to verify it, Polly has supposedly predicted Clinton’s victory in 2016, some elections in Canada, and Bernie Sanders’s winning of Iowa in the primaries.
This year, The New York Times will only have a “needle” for three states: Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. In order to translate how results from these states affect the election results, here is what 538 predicts based on how those three states go:
Point being, with these three states, we will be able to predict a Biden victory, but not a Trump victory, because Biden may still have the Rust Belt firewall.
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