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States in Play: October

Kevin Luhrs, Opinions Editor

It is October 14, 2020 and there’s 20 days until Election Day. Several things have changed since Sept. 21—we’ve had a chaotic first debate, the president was diagnosed with coronavirus, and there was a less chaotic vice presidential debate where both VP candidates dodged important questions. Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. has also solidified his lead in the polls and in the FiveThirtyEight forecast. Without further ado, time to get into States in Play.

The popular vote

The FiveThirtyEight average has Mr. Biden ahead by +10.6 points as of the night of Oct. 13, 2020. According to their “weird and not-so-weird possibilities” column, the former Vice President has a 95 in 100 chance of winning the popular vote. 

The Electoral College

Some changes have been made to the electoral map. Previously, Iowa was Lean R while North Carolina and Florida were tossups. To make it short: the polling in Iowa has been very close, North Carolina has been straying from the president and polls in Florida have been getting further away from the president. (No, he’s not up 11 points in Florida like Quinnipiac University said.)

Florida’s call

Florida is leaning Democratic as of Oct. 13, 2020. The FiveThirtyEight average has Biden up +4.6 points and their forecast gives Biden a 74 in 100 chance of winning. 

Florida’s confidence interval

It’s Florida, so one can’t be too confident, but there is a strong argument to be made as to why Florida is in Biden’s column. Florida has gone from 60 in 100 in favor of Biden to 74 in 100 as of Oct. 13 in FiveThirtyEight’s forecast. There have also been several reputable polls that show Biden with a three to six point lead over the president.

Georgia’s call

Georgia is a tossup, Biden has overtaken Trump in the average and Trump has a 55 in 100 chance of winning Georgia. The polls have been extraordinarily close, so this state is a little harder to predict. 

Georgia’s confidence interval

Georgia is a tossup this year, which isn’t too much of a shocker. The state has increasingly become purple-ish, with a slight tilt towards the GOP (Republican Party). 

North Carolina’s call

North Carolina is leaning Democratic, the FiveThirtyEight average has Biden up +3.2 points. Their forecast is slightly favoring Biden with a 66 in 100 chance of winning North Carolina. Since Oct. 1, 2020, Trump’s chances have moved from 46 in 100 to 34 in 100. 

North Carolina’s confidence interval

The race has been running away from the president, and North Carolina seems to be no different. SurveyUSA has the former vice president up +5 points, and Monmouth has him up +3 points.

Electoral college predictions:

Electoral college votes: 290 to 335 for Democrats.

Improbable for Democrats: 350-352 if Georgia or Ohio go blue. 368 if both go blue (they won’t.)

Very improbable for Democrats: Above 368.


For more information or news tips, or if you see an error in this story or have any compliments or concerns, contact [email protected].

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States in Play: October