Friday, September 25, 2020

ELECTORAL COLLEGE: Lots of Guessing!

 

[Guest Contributor - Donald G. Mutersbaugh Sr.] 

I often wonder how some of these psephologists draw their conclusions. I’m going to present one table with three different predictions about the electoral college outcome for the 2020 election. It’s why in a previous blog article I posited that many of these polls are derived from either outdated models or wishful thinking.

A good starting point might be how wrong these conclusions are. It is obvious from the 2016 election that most pundits were wrong: they mostly predicted Clinton to win over Trump. One projection I looked at was made September 2, 2016 (Kiplinger): Clinton wins with 290 electors to trumps 191 with 56 being toss-ups – approximately 2 months before the election! How about an even closer one on November 6, 2016 (politicsplus): Clinton wins with 300 to 236 – two days before the election!

Well, this year is not much better in terms of spread. The EC NUM is the number of electors for each state.  REP is Republican; DEM is Democrat. LEAN to REP means leans Republican; LEAN to the DEM means leans Democrat. A complete explanation of the tables follows the predictions presented below:

                                                                     BOVADA      BETONLIN                     REAL CLEAR POL.

                                     EC       2016 Elect   2020 Elect   2020 Elect    *********2020 Elect*********

STATE                       NUM   REP    DEM  REP  DEM     REP   DEM   TOT  REP LEAN  TOT  DEM   LEAN

Florida

29

29

29

29

0

0

 

Maine

4

1

3

1

3

4

0

3

1

2

 

Michigan

16

16

 

16

16

0

0

 

Pennsylvania

20

20

 

20

20

0

0

 

Wisconsin

10

10

 

10

 

10

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL ALL

538

306

232

249

289

219

319

125

92

33

222

169

53

 

 

REAL CLEAR UNDECIDED

 

 

Arizona

11

11

 

11

11

0

0

 

Florida

29

29

29

29

0

0

 

Georgia

16

16

16

16

0

0

 

Iowa

6

6

6

6

0

0

 

Maine

1

1

3

1

3

4

0

3

1

2

 

Michigan

16

16

 

16

16

0

0

 

Nebraska

1

4

5

5

4

4

0

 

Nevada

6

6

6

6

0

0

 

New Hampshire

4

4

4

4

0

0

 

North Carolina

15

15

15

15

0

0

 

Ohio

18

18

18

18

0

0

 

Pennsylvania

20

20

 

20

20

0

0

 

Texas

38

38

38

38

0

0

 

Wisconsin

10

10

 

10

 

10

0

0

 

 

 

 

TOTAL     191


 

 

 

Web Sites:

www.bovada.lv/sports/politics

https://www.betonline.ag/sportsbook/politics/electoral-college

https://www1.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2020/president/2020_elections_electoral_college_map.html


A couple of notes about the table. The row labeled TOTAL ALL is the total number of electors for each column. The other states have not been presented in this table because the other states agreed with each other in the polls and obfuscated the discussion. Two of the sources present the electors as going to either the Republicans or the Democrats. Real Clear Politics presents those two options as well as Undecided. The states in BOLD highlight an elector difference from the 2016 election. The one thing that should be evident is that there are three different outcomes presented (there are, of course, many other projections in other sites). In my opinion the BOVADA results are the most probable. This will be discussed below in terms of possible modifications. The BETONLINE outcome is the absolute worst for Trump – and I personally believe it is a Democrat fantasy.

The third outcome, REALPOLITICS, also fascinates me because of the number of undecided outcomes. I find it very interesting that the polls are able to predict Biden to win when there are 191 electors undecided at this point. I can only figure that there is another model that is tracking popular vote. I believe Trump will not win the popular vote; but as will be shown below, I do believe he will win the electoral college again! What does this mean for the 2020 election? My logic follows.

Well first off, these sources concede that there are certain states that are pretty sure are going to basically follow the results of the 2016 election. That being the case, it highlights the states that are going to probably decide the election outcome. One glaring difference is Florida: Trump absolutely needs this state to win – and I believe that he will. It is contested – two of the sources are at odds about this win – I’m going to give FL to Trump making the electoral count Biden 249 to 232 (as presented). This is primarily because I believe the retirees in that state will be concerned about their retirement portfolio under Biden and the fact that Trump seems to be picking up more of the Cuban vote than he had in the 2016 election.

Now for another discussion. Pennsylvania is a state that I believe is going to go to the Republicans, not the Democrats. If a person came to you and said: I’m going to eliminate your job, destroy the industry that you work in (a.k.a. as your career), raise your taxes, and try to foist all aspects of a socialist agenda on you, honestly – would you vote for this person? The Reasonable Man theory and the Prudent Man theory would suggest a NO vote. I’m going to go with this and common sense and say the majority of people will vote for Trump. That makes the vote Biden 229 to 252.

The next state, Michigan, Trump won 2016, and I project he will win the state in 2020 also. There is tremendous anger with Gov. Whitmer and the shutdown, gun ownership and the Second Amendment, taxes – just a whole bunch of things that I don’t think that population is going to want – which is what they will get under Biden. Also, there have been favorable trade deals for farmers. That makes it Biden 213 to Trump 268. The other two votes can be harvested from many other states either because they were undecided, or switch their voting preference from 2016.


One final comment is about who is projected to win Ohio. Two of the polls, BOVADA and BETONLINE, have conceded Ohio to Trump. What does this mean? “Since 1896, Ohio has had only two misses in the general election (Thomas E. Dewey in 1944 and Richard Nixon in 1960) and has the longest perfect streak of any state, voting for the winning presidential candidate in each election since 1964, and in 33 of the 37 held since the Civil War. No Republican has ever won the presidency without winning Ohio, and since the advent of the modern two-party system, only two Democrats have ever won the presidency without winning Ohio (in 1884/1892 and 1960).” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_elections_in_Ohio

 

Trump is my projected winner!

Donald G. Mutersbaugh, Sr. earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and his Master of Business Administration degree from Mary Washington College. He is the former Associate Administrator of Information Resources for the U.S House of Representatives under Speaker Newt Gingrich.