2020 Final Senate Map Dem 54-46

And here’s my Senate map.  Dems should have all but sewn up the Senate despite losing Doug Jones’ seat in Alabama.   I’m predicting additional pickups of Theresa Greenfield in Iowa and Steve Bullock in Montana.    Despite a great campaign by Jamie Harrison , I’m expecting Lindsey Graham edges him out.

Also, coloring both Georgia senate seats blue is pretty bold.  To be exact, I think Jon Ossoff will win outright with 50% of the vote, and Rev Warnock will win a plurality, then later prevail in a runoff.


2020 Final Electoral College Map: Biden 413-125

That’s right , I’m in the 413 Club, as optimists on Twitter are calling this popular map.   I’m counting on the late momentum for Biden to continue into election day enough for the historic result of a blue Texas.

538’s final map has red Texas , Iowa and Ohio for a total of 351 EVs for Joe.  Sabato’s crystal Ball takes Florida and ME-02 away from Biden  giving him 321.  There’s some wilder maps than that out there, but a Biden victory is looking good.

2020 Final House Election Prediction D 254 – R 181

Cook Political Report has released it’s final House estimates, with 26 seats listed as tossups. If all those tossups went Republican, Democrats would hold The House of Representatives with 228 seats. If we give them all to Democrats , that’s at total of 254 Democrat seats. After shuffling a couple around, giving Republicans Justin Amash’s old seat in Michigan, and giving Democrats and upset victory in FL-15 , Ross Spano’s old seat, I’ve come to the same result. I’m predicting a 254 – 181 Democrat controlled House.

538’s Congressional House forecast shows a most likely scenario of around 240 Democrat seats.  I’m assuming a little better Biden coat tails than that.  538’s bell curve of probabilities shows 254 seats on the high end of their 80 percentile outcome window, and a bout a 1.5% chance of Democrat’s getting exactly 254 seats. 


2020 Updated Swing State Map

Since looking at 2020 Biden vs Trump Swing States last month, things have moved in Joe Biden’s favor.

Tilt Democrat

Florida is now leaning blue.  Three high quality polls out today show Biden leading, Monmouth, Marist, and Quinnipiac.   Also Democrats have an impressive lead from mail in ballots, that so far Republicans have not quite overcome with Early voting.  As the last weekend of Early voting tends to favor Democrats, it seems unlikely that they will.  In addition, Biden’s strong showing with Independents along with and advantage with crossover voters  should close the deal for him in The Sunshine State.

North Carolina also leans blue now.  The final NY Times/Sienna College poll there gives Biden a 3% advantage.   It’s a close one, but other polls concur. Like in Florida, North Carolina’s Democrats have a significant lead in mail in ballots.


Texas and Iowa both have moved significantly in Biden’s favor.  If that momentum continues into next week, we’ll be looking at a landslide Biden victory.  For now, they’re tossups along with Georgia and Ohio. It was tempting to shade Ohio pink this morning, but this Quinnipiac poll today showing Biden up by 5% leaves it a tossup for now.

Swing States

That’s the final Swing State Map.

Coming soon, we’ll try to verify these guesses with the scheduled final polling.

Then lastly, we’ll try to predict the winner of Texas, Iowa, Georgia and Ohio.

Odds of Trump Successfully Cheating

After being impeached for cheating in this election, some lawmakers voted not to convict Trump, hoping “he’d learn his lesson” . Already , in light of many antics from the likes of Rudy Giuliani, we know that didn’t happen.

However , all that matters when trying to predict outcomes, is will any cheating attempts be successful?

A quick glance at 538 odds shows an 89% chance of a Biden victory. Real Clear Politics average of gambling odds shows around 66% chance of victory for Biden. 538 doesn’t take into account any chance of cheating, or other external factors. Outside of polls, and prior voting records, why the difference? Gambler’s money isn’t an exact predictor of outcomes, but neither are polls, or the experts at 538. But the chance off a successful cheat are likely a small portion of that difference. So it’s probably something significantly less than 20%.

Also, cheating can only get you so far. With Biden’s lead fairly big right now, many nefarious actors wouldn’t want to take on the risk of cheating, given it probably wouldn’t help. If a win was likely, perhaps the Giuliani and William Barr types could count on a pardon if they were caught.

In a football game, when the score is close, you’ll see more calls for pass interference and holding, as the stakes are high. But when a team is down, cheating is just not worth the effort. So the odds of a successful cheat are dwindling.

Now, if, on election night, we see Trump magically winning in states he polled poorly, like Michigan and Wisconsin, it would bring back memories of the same in 2016; that feeling from 9/11 of watching the second plane hit the building, and knowing for sure at that moment the first plane was not some unfortunate accident, but we were under attack.

Thankfully, a nefarious outcome looks less and less likely as we approach election day.

So to keep things simple, we assume no successful cheating with any predictions here.


2020 Senate Projections

The 2020 Senate Race looks to be close as far as control of the Senate, and may even turn on the Presidential winner as the elected Vice President will be the tie-breaker vote in a 50-50 Senate.

Right now, the Senate is 53 GOP to 47 DEM.   There is a total of 35 Senate seats up for election.  Looking only at polling, 11 of them are close.  4 of those lean GOP, 4 lean DEM, and 3 are tossups.  The four Senate tossups are Montana, Iowa, Georgia.



The 538 Senate Forecast leans slightly GOP from the above map.  They show Maine as a tossup as well, and show GA and IA leaning blue.  All 3 calls make sense as they’re assuming an incumbent advantage in all 3.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball switches that up between ME and NC, calling North Carolina a tossup and showing Maine leaning blue.

It’s hard to say how the tragic passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg will effect the senate race, but so far there haven’t been any dramatic changes to polling.  Only the last dozen Senate polls published overlap with the date of her passing, September 18th.  (Respondents answered 16th – 20th) .  If anything there were a couple small moves towards Dems.


“Dissents speak to a future age. It’s not simply to say, ‘My colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way.’ But the greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become the dominant view. So that’s the dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow.” – Ruth Bader Ginsburg



2020 Biden vs Trump Swing States

From our 2020 Battleground Map , lets choose which states currently leaning Blue or Red, and get a look at the most unpredictable states this election, the swing states.

Tilt Democrat

Arizona , Wisconsin and Pennsylvania polling averages on sites like 538 and Real Clear Politics all show a Biden lead.  We’ll make them light blue for now.


Tilt Republican

Texas and Iowa both consistently have Trump leading in the polls. We’ll make them pink.


Swing States

We’re left with four Swing States, plus 2 congressional districts.  Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Nebraska-02 and Maine-02 .  If polling holds steady, these will be the states that will be tough to call on election night.



The Snake Chart

538 has a Snake chart that orders the states by their forecast margin of victory. We can see our Swing states , or  toss-ups are all close to the line between red and blue here. Forecasting a winner in these states will be an extra challenge.



45 days left

Biden has a decent lead right now.  While a lot can happen between now and the election, the electorate is extremely polarized.  Let’s watch for any signs of momentum , or changes in the above snake chart.   In that time, I hope to look at best case scenarios for both candidates, talk about election interference and cheating, and how that effects predictions, and finally get a better idea of who might come ahead in the Battleground and Swing States.


2020 Biden vs Trump Battleground States

There are 9 states to watch closely for the upcoming election.  Pennsylvania, Arizona, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Iowa and Texas.  (plus 2 split districts, Maine 2, and Nebraska 2) .

With  these 9 states as tossups, the map above from 270towin.com shows a Biden win with several different combinations of just 2 more states. (Or just Florida).  A Trump win requires that he takes no less than 7 of these states.  Advantage Biden.

Polling confirms this advantage. Today’s Ipsos General Election poll has Biden ahead 50%-41%. This is in line with most recent polling

Let’s look at what the major forecasters say.

538’s 2020 Election Forecast

has Biden with a 75% chance of victory.   538’s National Polling average has Biden at 50% of the vote, Trump at 43%.

Sabato’s Crystal Ball 

mostly concurs with our battleground states above, but leans Pennsylvania blue along with Nebraska 02 , giving Biden the 269 Electoral votes needed for a tie.  For Trump, it shows Texas, Iowa, Ohio and Georgia leaning red.

Cook Political Report 

gives Biden and additional state, Wisconsin , to put him over the edge.  An article today Trump’s Ceiling Is Too Low for Him to Be Reelected by Charlie Cook postures that major changes to the map are unlikely, and concludes “Alan Greenspan’s irrational exuberance has given way, in my mind, to irrational caution. This is not 2016.” .

The Niskanen Center 

goes a step further, giving Biden Florida.  Rachel Bitecofer’s in depth analysis covers lots’ from hyper-partisanship to mismanagement of the pandemic, and why polling numbers have been stagnant for some time.

Under 50 days left

There’s still time left on the clock.  Four years ago, Hillary Clinton headed into the final month with a lead in the polls.  But we’re looking at a different world now.  Trump has the incumbent advantage, but has been impeached.  We’re in the middle of a global pandemic with little federal help in sight, yet the stock market remains indifferent.  Multiple investigations showed Russian interference in our last election, yet much of that information remains redacted.  So much has changed,  but it feels eerily similar to the 2016 election.  Let’s see how voters respond.

2016 Final Electoral Vote Count

2016 Final Electoral Vote Count

Here’s my prediction:

Clinton win probability: 99% *

Clinton: 378

Trump: 160

Confidence: 22%

Margin of error: +-30 electoral votes **

Senate: 51 Democrats

2016 Final Electoral Prediction

In the 2012 map prediction, I relied on projecting momentum into the final day. While this election is very different, we’re in a similar situation with momentum. Today’s Dow Jones Average surged nearly 400 points on the news that the FBI was done inve … more

Vietnam travel for those aged three months to six decades; what NOT to do

My list trip to Bac Ninh with my wife was for our wedding. My brother in law Harry and I made a deal to try to accompany each other for future trips, because it goes more smoothly to put it mildly. It looks like I let him down this time. Read about Harry and the Vietnamese family’s latest trip here.


Scenes from Bac Ninh and Hanoi Scenes from Bac Ninh and Hanoi

Scenes from Bac Ninh and Hanoi Scenes from Bac Ninh and Hanoi

Scenes from Bac Ninh and Hanoi Scenes from Bac Ninh and Hanoi

Scenes from Bac Ninh and Hanoi Scenes from Bac Ninh and Hanoi

Scenes from Bac Ninh and Hanoi Scenes from Bac Ninh and Hanoi

Scenes from Bac Ninh and Hanoi Scenes from Bac Ninh and Hanoi

By Harry Hodge
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Well, mostly it was the worst. It was our family trip to Hanoi.
The kicker was this trip had so many moving parts: My newborn son Payton is only three months old; my mother- and father-in-law are not frequent travellers; getting around Vietnam is generally stressful enough when it only travels one person, etc.
But my wife My’s family lives mostly in a small village in Bac Ninh, a province over from Hanoi. It seemed like we could swing a six-day trip up there and everything would fall into place. Short flight, inexpensive (staying with family) and so on.

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