Poll Diving – part 6

So, less than a week out, where are we?

As a refresher, here's where we were at this point in 2016

Trump: 260 ECV (FL and NC had closed for Trump)

Clinton: 248 ECV

Potentially dodgy: NV (6 ECV)

Too-close to call: NH (4 ECV) and PA (20 ECV)

What wasn't on the pollsters nor my radar was MI (16 ECV) and WI (10 ECV). Those 26 ECV were in Clinton's count of 248. In retrospect it's easy enough to see that Trump had four opportunities to get those last ten ECVs and he was working all of them as hard as he could.


Trump: 180 ECV

Biden: 239 ECV

Not close and imho have solidly closed: MN (10) WI (10)

Close, Trump lean: IA (6) OH (18)

Although nothing has been heard from the Des Moines Register (did they trash their rep with their Democratic primary shenanigans?), put those into the totals and it's

Trump: 204 ECV – needs 66

Biden: 259 ECV – needs 11

Outstanding: AZ (11), FL (29), ME CD-2 (1), NC (15), PA (20)

Why the polls may be somewhat more accurate this time is the very high number that have voted early and will use a mail-in ballot. Thus, the polls reflect what a high percentage of people have done instead of what they plan to do.

My sloppy fudge factor for Florida has been to spot the Republican candidate one and a half to two percentage points (depending upon how much enthusiasm can be seen for the candidates). (For NC I've been using two and a half points.) So, if the polls have it as 47.5% R and 4.57% D, my calculation would be 49% to 47.5%. This obviously doesn't work if there's a late enthusiasm break for either candidate as there was in 2000 for Gore.

Curiously, many of the FL polls have Biden at 50%, which tends to indicate a break point for a candidate, particularly if there are any 3rd party candidates polling above 1%. Not being inclined to put FL in the Biden column (my bias), I drilled down on one poll: StPetePolls

This pollster clearly made an effort to get a representative sample of FL voters. Doesn't mean they succeeded but they tried. They also limited the questions asked of respondents with nothing controversial or threatening in them. Finally, the sample size of 2,527 is large.

The sampling results:

Trump 47.4%
Biden 48.9%
other: 1.9%
u/d-won't say: 1.8%

The u/d-won't say is small in this sample. Assuming they vote, it would have to break 92% for Trump and 8% for Biden for Trump to win. Trumpsters will claim that all the u/d-won't say will vote and are for Trump. That would be unusual but possible.

However, these are the nuggets, imo, in this poll:

Already voted: 60.3%
Vote by mail: 8.5%
Vote in person: 31.2%

Vote preference by political party (% of respondents):

Democrat (37.6%): voted: 70.4%, mail-in 8.9%, in-person 20.8%
Republican (39.5%): voted: 51.5%, mail-in 7.5%, in-person 41.0%
Independent (23.0%): voted: 59.1%, mail-in 9.5%, in-person 31.4%

Candidate preference by party:

Democrat: Trump 12.3%, Biden 84.2%, other 2.1%, u/d won't say 1.4%
Republican: Trump 82.9%, Biden 13.7%, other 1.5%, u/d won't say 1.9%
Independent: Trump 43.6%, Biden 51.7%, other 2.1%, u/d won't say 2.6%

Already voted (AV) vs plan to vote PV) by candidate:

Trump: AV 39.3% PV 59.6%
Biden: AV 58.2% PV 34.8%
other: AV 1.4% PV 2.65%
u/d-w/s: AV 1.1% PV3.0%

The election day GOTV hurdle is much higher for Republicans and Trump voters than for Democrats and Biden voters. That seems to be different from past patterns in FL.

In AZ, OH Predictive Insights hasn't published the crosstabs as StPetePolls did. What they did reveal is consistent with the FL pattern:

“six in ten respondents said they had already cast their ballots”
“less than one quarter (23%) of the voters who had not already cast their ballots said they were waiting to do so on Election Day”
“In an unusual breaking of tradition, it appears that most Democrats have already returned their ballots while many Republicans are waiting to do so closer to Election Day. “

Have Democrats sussed out the fact that election day polling resources disproportionately targets them for suppression?

In a mirror image of 2016 when Trump needed just one more (or NV and NH), now it's Biden that needs just one more and PA is a smidgen from being closed in his favor.

What's your projection for the outstanding states and ME CD2?

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on the limb you'e extended.

Biden will win PA MI and WI. And New Hampshire.

Possibly FL and AZ as well.

TX remains a reach.

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@NYCVG MI, NH, and WI have all closed. (Actually NH closed very early -- could be seen in Sheehen's reelection polls, she's never had such an easy Senate race.)

All indications are that PA has now also closed.

AZ is flopping around a bit. The only recent time its ECV went to a Democrat was in 1996 in a three-way. No Senate race that year; so, AZ voters have no experience with ticket splitting. With Kelly poised to win the Senate seat, odds favor Biden.

FL is a surprise. It's not closed and it's leaning Biden.

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@Marie But like most of our contributors, I understand a Biden "victory" is the end of one set of harrowing circumstances, but only---maybe---a few teeny tiny steps towards a more just country.

It will be a true victory for me if M4A pre-steps get implemented and the minimum wage is raised to $15.00 per hour.

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@NYCVG @NYCVG Trump losing. That he and his kidlings won't be everywhere and gobbling up huge segments of the public media space. Oh, and it will reduce the Secret Service costs.

Check this out:

Trump supporters left in cold for hours after Omaha rally

Hundreds of people who attended President Donald Trump’s rally Tuesday evening at Eppley Airfield spent up to three hours in freezing temperatures waiting for buses to take them back to their cars.

Paramedics took six people to local hospitals "due to a variety of medical conditions," said Tim Conahan, police chief for the Omaha Airport Authority.

I have no empathy for those fools. However, wtf was Trump doing staging an evening rally in NE six days before the election? That's a loser move.

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@Marie will be big for me, too.

Also Hillary loses yet again. (If she was going to comfort herself with "Joe lost also.")

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@NYCVG Trump loses to nothing (which is what Biden pretty much is to most voters), but he beat something.

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Roy Blakeley's picture

@NYCVG A Biden win would result in a slower and more orderly the progression toward fascism and environmental destruction. We might get a bit of breathing room to at least try to make positive change. Government should function somewhat better under Biden. Trump is after all a Fucking Idiot whose handling of the COVID-19 pandemic is simply negligent homicide. He doesn't have a cabinet. He has an anti-cabinet. Republicans can run an election campaign on occasion, but they can not run a country.

I am not in a swing state and I did not have to hold my nose and vote for Biden, but I can see where those in close states might vote for him. Damn, there are probably at least 150 million people in this country, many hominids and quite a few psittacines that would be better than either of these guys.

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that Biden and the Dems are going to carry the victory this time.

FiveThirtyEight's "snake" map taken just now:


They've got Pennsylvania, Arizona, North Carolina, Florida, Maine 2nd District, Georgia, and Iowa (as well as Michigan, Wisconsin, Nevada, and New Hampshire) tipping towards Biden. It's been like this for at least 2 days now.

Not that FiveThirtyEight has that good of a record, mind you.


I can tell you this, however. If Biden wins Pennsylvania, it's over for Trump. That's the key state to watch election day. Even Florida doesn't matter if Biden wins Pennsylvania.

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@apenultimate (and be a spoiler for those that want to wait until next Tuesday evening), but PA has closed. That would be a wrap. Then the question becomes how badly will Trump lose.

IA was looking to close for Trump a few days ago, and then as the margin for Biden continued to increase in the WI polls, Trump stalled in IA. Fascinating because in 2016 IA closed in Sept and strongly for Trump.

When I look at FL the numbers keep telling me one thing, but I have to continuously question if what I think I see is real or bias on my part. It's also possibly driving the media folks a bit nuts because they may not have contracted for many late polls in some of the states still open.

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Roy Blakeley's picture

the Democrats may win big. Voting appears to be way up this year, and I think a lot of that is people voting against Trump. I would be very surprised if there are more pro-Trump voters in 2020 than in 2016.

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@Roy Blakeley doesn't tell us what the total turnout will be. It could reflect that people are becoming more familiar with early voting and vote-by-mail, and a response to the coronavirus. The eligible voting population increases every four years; so, number of voters should increase as well.

Will be interesting to see if Republicans in 'blue states' turnout in usual numbers and vote for Trump instead of leaving that ballot line blank or writing in someone else. Nevada's "none of these candidates" option might be more interesting the usual. (Biden is polling only 0.5% more than Clinton received, Trump is down by 2% or more, and Jorgenson is nearly matching Johnson.)

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@Roy Blakeley

voted for Trump last time who isn't this time?

And there is something to be said for having someone to vote *for* and not just against...

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travelerxxx's picture

@Blue Republic

Of folks I know who claim to have voted for Trump originally, two have personally mentioned their intentions to me. Both are former co-workers of mine. Both are white males, one around 45, the other about 60. The younger one states he will vote Libertarian, the older one is not going to vote at all.

I have two more, but the info on them is second hand. Both of these are also old co-workers, but I haven't spoken with either for at least six months. Both are black males, one now retired (my age), the other about 45. Both are pretty conservative, NRA members, etc. Both have told me they voted for Trump in 2016. A mutual friend has related to me that both have told him they will vote for Biden. Knowing each of them pretty well, I don't imagine they are advertising this, so I won't bother them to confirm it.

I have one family member who voted for Trump who claims he isn't voting, but I'm not sure I believe him.

So, I can count two for sure. The other three, I don't think I should tally as my info may not be correct.

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@travelerxxx is consistent with the polling. Trump's collapse is mostly in that middle-age range. And expect those that have soured on Trump to be more inclined not to vote than vote Biden or 3rd party.

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Fair enough - thanks for relating.

Interesting about your black co-workers. If we were to listen to the Dem establishment and MSM (as if there is a distinction to be made there) you would never believe that real black conservatives even exist.

And yet they just seem to keep popping up.
Patterson, NJ

Baltimore, MD




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travelerxxx's picture

@Blue Republic

If we were to listen to the Dem establishment and MSM (as if there is a distinction to be made there) you would never believe that real black conservatives even exist.

True enough. I would tell you that such exist in the Latinx community as well. I have Latinx neighbors who are right-wingers and support Trump. In fact, I suspect there are many more right wing Latinx than there are right wing Blacks. However, I'm not so certain that their right-leaning views are across-the-board.

My experience with each of these groups has led me to see the influence of religious organizations on them. The Latinx folks are strongly influenced by the Catholic church, which, locally, can be quite right wing. This is especially true in regard to the abortion issue. Once you depart from the abortion controversy, the views of these same people tend to move much further left.

In our area, the Black churches can have a similar influence. Here in Houston, a rather famous controversy surrounded something known locally as the HERO ordinance, which was intended to be an anti-discrimination ordinance, particularly in regard to housing. Naturally the usual all-white right-wing Protestant outfits lined up against it, but - to the surprise of many - a good number of prominent Black pastors joined them. Of course, they drug their congregations along for the ride.

There was a certain irony with Blacks fighting against anti-discrimination law, but it was completely religious in nature. The ordinance outlawed discrimination against various minority groups, among them various LBGGT+ categories. Even though the loss of the ordinance harmed Blacks, many Black churches took a stand which resulted in the repeal of the ordinance. Without the support of some prominent Black pastors, the ordinance would still be in effect. On almost any other issue, these Black churches would take a decidedly leftist stance.

Religion can be a strong drug.

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Saagar - who grew up there was talking about Hispanics in Texas and mentioned that there were quite a few (especially those 3rd/4th/5th generation) who were more where Democrats are on issues like healthcare and social welfare but were pro-life, strongly for gun rights and even closer to Republicans on immigration - and hence were not really at home in either party.

I'm still thinking that Trump is likely to get increased AA, Asian and Hispanic support this time around - likely more than enough to offset any erosion in white support - we'll find out soon enough.

Found that Rising segment segment (Oct.27)

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travelerxxx's picture

@Blue Republic

...who were more where Democrats are on issues like healthcare and social welfare but were pro-life, strongly for gun rights and even closer to Republicans on immigration - and hence were not really at home in either party.

I've seen similar. I think the point about those whose families have been in Texas long before it was even a state is pretty well taken. Example: I spent over ten years sharing a workplace apartment with a Latino man whose family had been in Texas well before Sam Houston's time. One thing he didn't agree with was unregulated immigration – and he didn't care whether they were coming from Honduras or Poland. Having said that, he felt there was a distinct difference between political refugees seeking asylum and those simply looking to make a buck.

That guy really wasn't all that political. He'd much rather talk about NBA basketball or some big-hair rock band. Trump changed that. He detestes Trump. Still, his political views didn't seem all that different than others I've known. Like so many Americans, we're forced to root for red or blue ...but neither represent us.

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karl pearson's picture

Biden wins Iowa. Joni Ernst didn't know the price of soybeans at the debate with Greenfield, and Iowans now know they were duped by Trump. Biden will win Arizona which has a lot of older people and Mark Kelly on the ballot. Native Americans will help Biden too. Dems should not bank on winning any Southern states, although North Carolina is less "Solid South". Florida is impossible to predict.

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@karl pearson southern states to win. Florida's not impossible -- at least it wasn't for me from 2000 to 2016.

Hope you're right about Greenfield in IA.

The AZ Senate race closed some time ago. (Astronauts don't lose; plus McSally is another creepy Republican woman.)

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and hasn't gone Republican since, what, 1972... then why would Biden
have put it on his schedule?

Also, you seem to dislike Rasmussen, but in their daily tracking of likely black voters they have Trump at 31%. OK, they could be wrong. BUT - even if they are over-rating Trump support there by half - that would still leave Trump at 15%, nearly double what he got in 2016 and the highest by a Republican since 1976.

Matt Towery, who has decades of polling experience said, speaking of Pennsylvania that

“Trump also continues to hold about 14% of the African American vote in this survey. In twenty years of polling, and as one who has polled Pennsylvania many times, I have never seen a Republican candidate consistently hold these type of numbers among black voters this close to an election. And this appears to be a developing trend in numerous states.”


So, we'll find out soon enough, but is there any way Biden wins if Trump ends up with 14-15% of the AA vote? (I'm pretty sure we can agree Biden is toast at anything higher than that.)

Forget about all the rappers endorsing Trump - what about people like *this*?

Straight outta Flint

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his white vote drops to 54%?

Since I haven't been talking about the national popular vote, slight ups and downs in id groups may or may not be relevant as to who wins.

Surely you're not serious when you postulate that AA voters are going to save Trump's ass. If you are serious, you're not even grasping at straws.

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Can we agree that Trump loses if
his white vote drops to 54%?

Well, no. Using the numbers from 2016


it seems that vote totals were (slightly rounded):

White - 101 million
Hispanic - 12.7 million
Black - 16.4 million
Asian - 4.9 million

Dropping Trump's white vote from the 58% he got to your 54% takes away 4,040,000
from his total.

Doubling his AA support from 8 to 16% only offsets 130,000 of those votes and still leaves
him 3,910,000 down.

However 23% support from Asian and Hispanic voters would more than make that up.
(H+A = 17.6 million x .23 = 4.05 million)

Of course Trump could get the same PV totals and lose if the distribution was wrong. But I contend that 15% AA and 25% Asian and Hispanic are not unrealistic numbers for Trump at all.

So, as to

Surely you're not serious when you postulate that AA voters are going to save Trump's ass. If you are serious, you're not even grasping at straws.

Not AA alone. AA plus Hispanic plus 'other' - particularly Asian. That's if his ass even requires saving...

IMHO - higher than Dems seem to be anticipating support from the Hispanic, Asian and AA demographic may well end up providing Trump with the margin he needs.

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