Princeton Election Consortium

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Outcome: Biden 306 EV (D+1.2% from toss-up), Senate 50 D (D+1.0%)
Nov 3 polls: Biden 342 EV (D+5.3%), Senate 50-55 D (D+3.9%), House control D+4.6%
Moneyball states: President AZ NE-2 NV, Senate MT ME AK, Legislatures KS TX NC

Presidential Polling Error: slightly smaller than 2016…but in deep Trumpland, larger

November 6th, 2020, 12:17am by Sam Wang


While we wait for the likely conclusion of a Biden win with 306 electoral votes and a 5-6% popular-vote margin…

The graph above shows only states which have been called by media organizations, and where the count is >95% complete (results from NYT). For example, California, Arizona, Nevada, Pennsylvania are left out. Things may change.

In only two states, North Carolina and Florida, did the polls point in the wrong direction, where “wrong” means the sign of the polling margin and the outcome are opposite, and are indicated in red (North Carolina’s not entirely done yet). From a public consumption standpoint, though, that was consequential: before there election, expectations were raised of a possible Election-Night resolution…which was then followed by four days of suspense (I’m updating this on Saturday 11/7, after the networks finally called Pennsylvania).

But if we get into the details, there is a notable error in state polls. It has two components: (1) In states where polls favored Biden, the actual vote margin favored Trump by a median of an additional 2.6 points. (2) In states where polls favored Trump, Trump did better by a lot – 6.4 points median, and increasing steeply with his vote share.

Before you get all excited about that larger number…I should point out that it’s a known phenomenon in landslide states.  [Read more →]

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Counting, conflict, and consequences

November 4th, 2020, 10:03am by Sam Wang


Based on traffic stats, the great majority of you arrived in the last few days. We’re living out some likely events I suggested in September. First, mail-in votes are different this year. They are taking a while to count in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Second, given the Trump Administration’s attitude to the law, it matters who is in charge of election administration, especially Pennsylvania.

It seems like a full vote count (for example, if mail ballots were not delayed; hi, Louis DeJoy!) would lead to WI/MI/PA for Biden, GA a toss-up, and 291 to 307 electoral votes for Biden in the end (or one less, if Trump wins Maine’s 2nd Congressional District).

Three things are on my mind today: (a) voting rules matter a lot for the Presidency – and for the Senate, in Georgia and Maine; (b) polarization took over in Senate races, and (c) electoral reform took a major hit last night.

Also, there is no avoiding the question of the large polling error. [Read more →]

→ 55 CommentsTags: 2020 Election · President · Redistricting · Senate

PEC 2020 Liveblog thread #2

November 3rd, 2020, 11:41pm by Sam Wang


New thread.

11:32 pm: Fox has called Arizona for Biden. 

So far the reported returns, compared with pre-election polls, appear to be 6% toward Trump (Florida), 3.5% toward Trump (North Carolina), and 0% (New Hampshire). Pretty big errors, though not a pattern that tells us about WI/MI/PA.

11:51 pm: It’s like I said back in September, for the Presidential race we may be stuck waiting for Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. And here we are. Wisconsin will report tomorrow, Michigan Friday maybe tomorrow as well, and Pennsylvania…not sure yet. [Read more →]

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PEC 2020 Liveblog thread #1

November 3rd, 2020, 8:01pm by Sam Wang


Live thread starting at 8:00pm. Comments are on! [Read more →]

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Our Electoral Innovation Lab’s Twitter thread

November 3rd, 2020, 7:02pm by Sam Wang


A Twitter thread from the Electoral Innovation Lab team, plus a few people we’ve come to rely on. We’re watching state legislative races and democracy-reform ballot initiatives. Also some trackers: [Read more →]

Comments Off on Our Electoral Innovation Lab’s Twitter threadTags: 2020 Election

Last snapshot, 2020: President, Senate, legislatures

November 3rd, 2020, 5:55pm by Sam Wang


Today’s the last day of voting. In normal years we call it Election Day. This  year, it’s the day when the vote-counting begins.

Thanks to all the early voting, polling stations are generally not busy. If you haven’t yet, go vote! Text MYVOTE to 977-79 to find your polling place.

Here are some resources for tonight:

For now, let’s use this as the main PEC comment thread.

Specific details on races and final snapshots after the jump. [Read more →]

→ 2 CommentsTags: 2020 Election · House · Princeton · Redistricting · Senate

Politics & Polls #208: Election Day 2020

November 3rd, 2020, 2:06pm by Sam Wang


Politics and Polls logoThis morning Julian Zelizer and I went down memory lane…to our 2016 pre-election episode. It was an eye-opener. I talk about elections very differently now. We get into what to look for, what to be concerned about, and how to use polling data without being a passive observer. Take a listen!

→ 1 CommentTags: 2020 Election · Politics · Princeton

Avoiding conflict despite the Electoral College

November 3rd, 2020, 7:41am by Sam Wang


Don’t forget, the states in gold started counting their mail-in votes today or last night! [Read more →]

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Geek’s Guide 2020, version 2.2 (Monday 10:30pm)

November 2nd, 2020, 10:07am by Sam Wang


Morning, everyone. One day to go. I’m holding at Fauci 2. You?

Here’s version 2.2 of the PEC Geek’s Guide To The Election. (doc, PDF) State legislative races have been added.

Other useful guides: the PEC 50-State Guide, Taniel’s What’s On The Ballot, and what David Leonhardt is watching.

In comments, please post your favorite places to get information tomorrow. And stay off the Garden State Parkway!

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Redistricting Spitball, Texas style

November 1st, 2020, 3:30pm by Sam Wang


Update, 11/3: The federal judge dismissed the case. The votes will be counted! For Election Day, the Harris County clerk has left one drive-through voting center open, at the Toyota Center.

We created Redistricting Moneyball to identify places where votes are exceptionally valuable in their potential to affect Congressional redistricting. The idea was to enhance your activism by showing you where to get out the vote. Texas Republicans have taken the concept in the opposite direction: they are looking to invalidate 127,000 votes cast in Harris County, where some of the most influential voters in the nation live.

It’s a radical gambit. The suppression of votes is not Moneyball, but more like a spitball – against the spirit and rules of democracy. However, there is one advantage. It’s so focused that you may be able to mitigate possible effects by turning out the vote in a very small number of legislative districts. [Read more →]

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