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Election Projections: The big day is here, and Biden remains on top

By Jim Denery, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

(CNT) City News Talk #local-all

Editor’s note: Polling results are often described as snapshots at a particular moment of time in a campaign. This, however, is more of a doodle, aggregating election projections from various sources, some that rely entirely on polling while others also take into consideration factors such as demographics and voting histories. This feature will return next week with a look at how well the projection models performed this year.

It’s Election Day, and Democrat Joe Biden – as he has ever since we first began following 15 election projection models at the beginning of September – remains the favorite among the political prophets. Fourteen of the models now give the former vice president enough electoral votes to win, while the other has him ahead of Republican President Donald Trump by 91 votes.

It’s not all perfect for Biden. Seven of the models lowered their expectations for the former vice president – one by 38 electoral votes, or the equivalent of Ohio (18) and Pennsylvania (20) – while only two bumped up his vote total. The average for the 15 models cost him three electoral votes since last week, something that might thrill Trump until he sees they also cut into his count by five votes.

On six of the models, the hole got a little deeper for the president, with four showing his total shrinking by 38 electoral votes. He did gain votes on three of the sites, including 44 votes on one.

The biggest movement on the average for the models was to undecided, adding eight electoral votes – the equivalent to picking up Kentucky, although it’s not Kentucky itself, which remains firmly in the GOP column. Eight models added to the toss-up category, and three moved closer to one candidate or the other.

Democrat Joe Biden: 297 votes this week, 300 votes last week, 297 votes the week before that

Republican Donald Trump: 157 votes this week, 162 votes last week, 163 votes the week before that

Toss-up states: 84 votes this week, 76 votes last week, 78 votes the week before that

Projections as of noon Monday:

270toWin consensus map (last updated Sunday): Biden, 290; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 85

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 290; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 85

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 290; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 85

270toWin polling map (updated three times daily): Biden, 278; Trump, 125; Toss-up 135

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 279; Trump, 125; Toss-up, 134

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 259; Trump, 125; Toss-up 154

270toWin polling with no toss-ups (updates three times daily): Biden, 351; Trump 187

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 334; Trump, 198

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 357; Trump, Trump, 181

CNN (last updated Oct. 7): Biden, 290; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 85

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 290; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 85

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 290; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 85

Cook Political Report (last updated Wednesday): Biden, 290; Trump, 125; Toss-up, 123

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 290; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 85

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 290; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 85

The Economist (updated twice daily): Biden, 319; Trump, 182; Toss-up, 37

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 334; Trump, 164; Toss-up, 40

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 319: Trump, 188; Toss-up, 31

FiveThirtyEight (updated every two hours): Biden, 319; Trump, 125; Toss-up, 94

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 334; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 41

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 334; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 41

Inside Elections (last updated Wednesday): Biden, 350; Trump, 125; Toss-up, 63

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 319; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 56

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 319; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 56

Niskanen Center (last updated Sept. 15): Biden, 318; Trump, 123; Toss-up, 97

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 318; Trump, 123; Toss-up, 97

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 318; Trump, 123; Toss-up, 97

NPR (last updated Friday): Biden, 279; Trump, 125; Toss-up, 134

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 290; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 85

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 290; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 85

Politico (last updated Monday): Biden, 279; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 96

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 279; Trump, 179; Toss-up, 80

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 279; Trump, 179; Toss-up, 80

PredictIt (updated every four hours): Biden, 290; Trump, 248

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 290; Trump, 248

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 334; Trump, 204

Princeton Election Consortium: Biden, 335; Trump, 187; Toss-up, 16

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 373; Trump, 143; Toss-up, 22

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 335; Trump, 181; Toss-up, 22

RealClearPolitics (last updated Thursday): Biden, 216; Trump, 125; Toss-up, 197

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 232; Trump, 125; Toss-up, 181

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 216; Trump, 125; Toss-up, 197

Sabato’s Crystal Ball (last updated Monday): Biden, 321; Trump, 217; Toss-up, 0

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 290; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 85

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 290; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 85

U.S. News (last updated Wednesday): Biden, 279; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 96

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 290; Trump, 185; Toss-up, 63

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 290; Trump, 185; Toss-up, 63

We don’t use them to calculate the averages because they were late to join 270toWin’s pundit page, but we’re willing to give a participation prize to two other models. Here’s what they say:

Decision Desk – Optimus 2020 Presidential Forecast (updated daily): Biden, 308; Trump, 125; Toss-up, 105

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 323; Trump, 125; Toss-up, 90

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 334; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 41

JHK Forecasts Presidential Election Forecast (updated daily): Biden, 351; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 24

Totals on Oct. 26: Biden, 335; Trump, 125; Toss-up, 78

Totals on Oct. 19: Biden, 335; Trump, 163; Toss-up, 40

JHK is also the site that offers fun for the whole family by allowing you to run your own simulations of the election. On Monday, we tested the simulation 20 times – we’re no match for the 40,000 simulations that FiveThirtyEight runs each time before releasing new projections. Biden won 19 of them – up one from when we performed the same exercise last week.

Biden’s biggest victory was 449-89, and his closest win was 295-243. The one time Trump won, the final tally was 282-256.

The simulations showed Georgia backing Trump 55% of the time to 45% for Biden.

So what does all that mean? Basically, that anything is possible.

Where does Georgia stand

Georgia has been a battleground throughout the campaign season, and one model, the Princeton Election Consortium, now makes it the only battleground.

In all, 12 of the 15 models we’ve been tracking list Georgia as a toss-up state. The candidates apparently believe them, since they both made visits to Georgia in the final week of the campaign.

What about the other three sites where Georgia was not a toss-up? Two put the state in Biden’s column, and the other gave it to Trump.

What are the other toss-up states?

On its consensus map, 270toWin lists only five states as up for grabs. In addition to Georgia, they are Florida (29 electoral votes), Ohio (18), North Carolina (15) and Iowa (6). It also still marks one congressional district in Maine, and its one electoral vote, as a toss-up.

Real Clear Politics continues to be the most conservative model in awarding states to candidates. Either it’s being cautious not to fall in the trap that caught most of the models off guard in 2016, or it has real commitment issues.

In fact, it reversed course, moving Michigan and its 16 electoral votes back into the indecision zone just a week after it had placed the state in Biden country. Also still up for grabs are Georgia and 10 other states — Texas (38), Florida (29), Pennsylvania (20), Ohio (18), North Carolina (15), Arizona (11), Minnesota (10), Wisconsin (10), Iowa (6) and Nevada (6). It also still sees individual congressional districts in Maine and Nebraska as too close to call.

Another way to look at it: Nearly 37% of the Electoral College remains in limbo.