Our Forecast: A Brewing Current Could Lift Biden … or Swamp Him
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE
Because we all have a vested interest in who becomes the next POTUS.
By Nick Fouriezos
Last week, our OZY model with data and technology firm 0ptimus gave Joe Biden an 81 percent chance of winning the presidency. This week, that forecast is around 81.4 percent, so basically nothing has changed, right? Not so fast.
Even flat waters can hide rapid currents, and while the probabilities of the 2020 election have remained largely the same, a number of slight shifts have occurred below the surface — ones with the potential to disrupt the race more dramatically with time. “We just haven’t seen the waves yet,” says Scott Tranter, founder and CEO of 0ptimus.
The biggest news is a set of gold standard polls released in Minnesota and New Hampshire. Biden was up 16 points over Trump in an ABC/Washington Post poll of 615 likely Minnesota voters, a large break from three previous polls that had him up 9 points. Meanwhile, Trump received good news with a New York Times/Siena poll that had him down just 3 points in New Hampshire, closer than the 8-point deficit he had last month.
While Biden appears to be solidifying his lead in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, data shows the president may have growing momentum with Granite State voters. Trump has a soft spot for New Hampshire, after winning his first primary in the 2016 election there and bonding with voters over promises to end opioid abuse and the high cost of medical prescriptions. “There is some movement in the race, but it’s offsetting,” Tranter says.
Expect even choppier waters in the Senate races. While Democrats still have a three-quarters chance of taking control of the upper chamber, the races are getting tighter — with polls showing contractions in both Georgia Senate races and in Iowa, the two states rated as “Toss-Ups” in the OZY/0ptimus model. The former is particularly important to watch because in at least a fifth of the models, the fate of the Senate lies in the Peach State, where a runoff could leave the results up in the air until early January.
Meanwhile, the blue tilt of currently GOP-held Senate seats in Maine and North Carolina is putting Democratic control of the Senate into play for the first time since they lost it in the 2014 midterms. If Biden wins and pairs the presidency with a newly liberal Senate to go with the Nancy Pelosi–led House of Representatives, it would represent a seismic shift for U.S. politics — a blue wave that would soon transform into a liberal tsunami. Which goes to show that even beneath-the-surface shifts can lead to dramatic results.
- Nick Fouriezos, OZY AuthorContact Nick Fouriezos