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2020 Presidential prediction
2020 Senatorial prediction
2020 Gubernatorial prediction
Presidential debate #3
(Oct. 22)
Second presidential "debate"
(Oct. 15)
Vice presidential debate
(Oct. 7)
First presidential debate
(Sept. 29)
Town Halls: Trump
(Sept. 15) and Biden
(Sept. 17)
Democratic & GOP Conventions
(Aug 2020)
Democratic Veepstakes
(May-July 2020)
State of the Union
(Feb. 4, 2020)

Senate Election Prediction, Oct. 19, 2020

OnTheIssues predictions for 35 Senate races: Democratic takeover, but not on Election Day!

  • The partisan balance in the United States Senate currently stands at 53 Republicans to 47 Democrats.
  • We predict a 3-round takeover of the Senate by the Democratic Party - round one on Nov. 3 (tie 50-50); round 2 around Nov. 10 (partisan split 52-48 in favor of the Dems); and round 3 on Jan. 5 (final partisan split 53-47, in the opposite direction from 2020).
  • We predict a net gain on Election Day of 3 seats for the Democrats, yielding a 50-50 partisan split.
  • Surprises might come in the following additional five races, which are too-close-to-call: AK, IA, KS, NC, SC
  • All five of the too-close-to-call races have Republican incumbents--the surprise would mean that the Democrats gain a majority of the Senate. We predict no surprise victory declarations on Election Day....
  • HOWEVER, the pandemic will cause slow election counting, and hence we predict that these five races will all take several days to decide the winner. We predict that TWO of the too-close-to-call races will result in a Democratic takeover, and hence a safe majority for the Democrats in the 2021 Senate, but not until aound Nov. 9th or Nov. 10th, and hence "all eyes on the Carolinas."
  • HOWEVER, we also predict that the Georgia "GA-2" Special Senate Election AND the regular "GA-6" Senate election will not be decided until a runoff on January 5. The Nov. 3 election is a "jungle primary" in which we predict no candidate will exceed 50%, so it'll be "all eyes on Georgia" for two months. We predict a Democratic victory in ONE of these two seats (both have Republican incumbents now), because the people of Georgia will be influenced by the opportunity to have their Senator in the majority party.
  • Note that the Arizona race is also a special election; we predict that the Democrat will win, and will be seated for the lame-duck session of Congress. That would also apply to the Georgia special election, but we predict "no winner" until after the lame-duck session ends.
  • Note that the Lousiana race is also a "jungle primary", but we predict a clean Republican victory and hence no later runoff race, as we predict in Georgia.

ARRicky Dale Harrington (Libertarian)Tom CottonGOP retention
AKAl Gross(Independent)Dan SullivanToo close to call; GOP incumbent
ALDoug JonesTommy TubervilleGOP takeover
AZMark KellyMartha McSallyDem takeover
COJohn HickenlooperCory GardnerDem takeover
DEChris CoonsLauren WitzkeDem retention
GA-2Kelly Loeffler
vs.Doug Collins
vs.Derrick Grayson
vs.Valencia Stovall(Independent)
Raphael Warnock
vs.Ed Tarver
vs.Matt Lieberman
vs.Allen Buckley(Libertarian)
Runoff in January
GA-6David Perdue
vs.Shane Hazel(Libertarian)
Jon OssoffRunoff in January
IATheresa GreenfieldJoni ErnstToo close to call; GOP incumbent
IDPaulette JordanJim RischGOP retention
ILDick DurbinMark CurranDem retention
KSBarbara BollierRoger MarshallToo close to call; GOP incumbent
KYAmy McGrathMitch McConnellGOP retention
LAAdrian PerkinsBill CassidyGOP retention
MAEd MarkeyKevin O`Connor
vs.Shiva Ayyadurai(Independent)
Dem retention
MESara GideonSusan CollinsDem takeover
MIGary Peters
vs.Marcia Squier(Green)
John JamesDem retention
MNTina Smith
vs.Paula Overby(Green)
Jason LewisDem retention
MSMike EspyCindy Hyde-SmithGOP retention
MTSteve BullockSteve DainesDem takeover
NCCal CunninghamThom TillisToo close to call; GOP incumbent
NEChris JanicekBen SasseGOP retention
NHJeanne ShaheenCorky MessnerDem retention
NJCory BookerRik MehtaDem retention
NMBen Ray LujanMark Ronchetti
vs.Bob Walsh(Libertarian)
Dem retention
OKAbby BroylesJim InhofeGOP retention
ORJeff MerkleyJo Rae PerkinsDem retention
RIJack ReedAllen WatersDem retention
SCJaime HarrisonLindsey GrahamToo close to call; GOP incumbent
SDDan AhlersMike RoundsGOP retention
TNMarquita BradshawBill HagertyGOP retention
TXMJ HegarJohn CornynGOP retention
VAMark WarnerDaniel GadeDem retention
WVPaula Jean SwearenginShelley Moore CapitoGOP retention
WYMerav Ben-DavidCynthia LummisGOP retention

Source: See 2020 Senate debate page for full race coverage.

Presidential Election Prediction, for Nov. 3, 2020

OnTheIssues prediction: Biden wins 388-150 but....

  • We predict that Joe Biden will win in a landslide, but not on Election Night.
  • We further predict that polling will be vindicated after the travesty of incorrect polls in Nov 2016, with caveats. Details below....
  • ON ELECTION NIGHT: We predict Biden will end the evening ahead by 175-123 on Nov. 3 -- those are the dark blue and dark red states in our prediction map above.
  • No victory will be declared on Nov. 3, because not enough states will have finished counting ballots for either candidate to reach the minimum 270 electoral votes for victory.
  • ON ELECTION VICTORY: The light blue and light red states, we predict, will all be decided in the days following the election -- some by Nov. 4, and some as late as Nov 9, due to COVID slowing the ballot counting.
  • Biden should reach the threshold 270 electoral votes sometime around Friday, Nov. 6. In the intervening three days, the presidency will be uncertain -- we describe that "interregnum" below.
  • ON POLLING: Our prediction is based on polls (like everyone else's), with exceptions detailed below. The pollsters claim to have "fixed" the problems with polling from November 2016, and we have studied their methods and believe them. If they're wrong again, like in 2016, it means polling cannot be fixed.
    • DARK BLUE: Biden leads in the polls by 5% or more in several polls in these states. If any of these are inaccurate, it means the polls were grossly wrong -- and should never be trusted, ever again.
    • LIGHT BLUE: Biden leads in the polls by 2% or more in several polls in these states, or there are exception in our list below (for TX, FL, and GA).
    • DARK RED: Trump leads, and Biden stopped campaigning in these states. Two exceptions are Maine and Nebraska, both of which split their electoral votes -- Trump might lose a couple of electoral votes there.
    • LIGHT RED: Too close to call. We predict these will go to Trump because of "shy voter syndrome": Trump supporters are reluctant to tell the truth to pollsters because they consider pollsters to be anti-Trump.
  • ON EXCEPTIONS: We make three state predictions that bend the rules above, all based on extra campaigning done on the Democratic side. These three states are all "too close too call", so we're calling them for Biden because....
    • GA: Stacey Abrams has worked for two years on registering black voters (who typically vote 90% Dem. to 10% GOP) in Georgia, after the stolen election of 2018. Pollsters cannot count newly-registered voters when they are unexpectedly registered -- they have to use the previous election's expectations -- so thousands of new voters are ignored in the polls.
    • TX: Beto O'Rourke has worked for months near Texas' southern border, registering new Latino voters (including many former Mexicans or people with family in Mexico), another under-represented community. This group is pro-Democrat too, and all the more so because of Trump's demonization of Mexicans and immigrants in general.
    • FL: Mike Bloomberg has spent $100 million on TV advertising in Florida in favor of Biden. That spending will turn out many young people and other polling groups under-represented in traditional polling.
  • ON ELECTION LATE-NIGHT: If you see TX, GA, and FL declared for Trump late on Nov. 3, then Trump will win the whole election overwhelmingly. Biden still has enough to win without those three -- it would be 305-233 in Biden's favor -- but it means the polls are all wrong, and our analysis is all wrong, and it's 2016 all over again.
  • If you see TX, GA, or FL (any of the three) declared for Biden late on Nov. 3, then Biden will win overwhelmingly. This is the scenario we predict as the most likely.
  • If neither of those overwhelming scenarios occurs, then there will be no winner reaching 270 electoral votes for several days, and America will suffer an "interregnum", a period where America's leadership is undetermined...
  • ON INTERREGNUM:: Awaiting an outcome of the presidential race is dangerous in the current political climate. If no winner is decided on Nov. 3 or early Nov. 4, we predict a period of civil unrest until a winner is declared, which could be days or even weeks.
  • Recall the interregnum of November-to-December 2000, when Al Gore and George W. Bush fought in the courts for the presidency while the country waited with bated breath. We don't foresee Trump's supporters holding their breath while courts slowly proceed -- we foresee them taking to the streets instead-- hence our prediction of civil unrest until a decisive outcome.

Source: See Joe Biden vs. Donald Trump for full race coverage.

Governor Predictions, Oct. 30, 2020

OnTheIssues predictions for 12 Gubernatorial races: Republican retention of majority of Governor's seats

  • Eleven states, plus Puerto Rico, have governor elections in 2020; our predictions for each race appear below.
  • The current partisan balance is 26 Republicans and 24 Democrats, plus a Republican incumbent in Puerto Rico.
  • Our prediction is for one Republican takeover and one Democratic takeover, leaving the same partisan balance of 27-24.
  • But "partisan balance" doesn't really matter for governors, since there is no collective voting by governors, like there is for Senators.
  • What matters most for "partisan balance" is the governor's party affiliation when appointing Senators to fill the seats of those who enter the new Cabinet in 2021.
  • Cabinet appointments of incumbent Senators happens frequently -- and applies to either Biden's new appointees, or Trump's second term appointees. Some interesting cases:
  • If Senator Kamala Harris(D-CA) wins the Vice-Presidency, her replacement would be appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom(D-CA).
  • If Biden wins the White House and appoints Senator Cory Booker(D-NJ) to the Cabinet, his replacement would be appointed by Governor Phil Murphy(D-NJ).
  • In both those cases, the governor is from the same party as the Senator for whom he'd be appointing a replacement. In the following cases, the governor and Senator are from opposing parties -- which means these appointments would change the partisan balance in the Senate:
  • If Trump wins, and appoints Senator Jerry Moran(R-KS) to the Cabinet, his replacement would be appointed by Governor Laura Kelly(D-KS).
  • If Biden wins, and appoints Senator Bernie Sanders(I-VT) to the Cabinet, his replacement would be appointed by Governor Phil Scott(R-VT).
  • If Biden wins, and appoints Senator Elizabeth Warren(D-MA) to the Cabinet, her replacement would be appointed by Governor Charlie Baker(R-MA).
  • The decision of who to nominate for Cabinet positions would certainly be affected by the potential loss of partisan strength ni the Senate!

DEJulianne Murray (R)John Carney(D)Dem retention
INEric Holcomb (R)Woody Myers(D)GOP retention
MOMike Parson (R)Nicole Galloway(D)GOP retention
MTGreg Gianforte (R)Mike Cooney(D)GOP takeover
NHChris Sununu (R)Dan Feltes(D)GOP retention
NCDan Forest (R)Roy Cooper(D)Dem retention
NDDoug Burgum (R)Shelley Lenz(D)GOP retention
PRWanda Vazquez Garced (R)Pedro Pierluisi(D)Dem takeover
UTSpencer Cox (R)Chris Peterson(D)GOP retention
VTPhil Scott (R)David Zuckerman(D)GOP retention
WALoren Culp (R)Jay Inslee(D)Dem retention
WVJim Justice (R)Ben Salango(D)GOP retention

Source: See Governor races and candidates' policy stances.

Third Presidential Debate: Oct. 22, 2020

Excerpts from Trump & Biden, plus fact-checking

The third debate between Biden and Trump included new rules by the Commission on Presidential Debates to mute the microphones. When one candidate is initially asked a question, the microphone of the opposing candidate is muted for two minutes, to allow an uninterrupted response. This new rule responds to the first debate's constant speaking over each other (most of which did NOT occur during the "uninterrupted response" time).

The debate took place at Belmont University, in Nashville TN. The moderator, Kristen Welker of NBC, chose six topics:

  1. Fighting COVID-19
  2. American families
  3. Race in America
  4. Climate change
  5. National Security
  6. Leadership (which becamse the question, "What will say on inauguration day to those who voted against you?")
  7. The Trump campaign requested a focus on foreign policy (which came up a few times, but not as a formal question)
    Excerpts from Donald Trump:
  • Need to re-open country during pandemic, to have a country
  • Use military to distribute 100 million vials of vaccine
  • China has already paid $28B to our farmers
  • Working very hard to reunite 500+ kids with their parents
  • Wind power kills birds; solar can't run factories
  • Excerpts from Joe Biden:
  • Re-open businesses, restaurants, & schools with COVID safet
  • If we just all wore masks, we'd save 100,000 lives
  • Malarkey that China paid farmers; taxpayers did
  • Separating kids from parents in border cages is criminal
  • Fence-line communities need restrictions on pollutants

Source: See numerous additional debate excerpts plus fact-checking.

2020 Senatorial debates:
- AL - AK - AZ - AR - CO - DE - GA-2 - GA-6 - ID - IL - IA - KS - KY - LA -
- ME - MA - MI - MN - MS - MT - NE - NH - NJ - NM - NC -
- OK - OR - RI - SC - SD - TN - TX - VA - WV - WY

2019-2021 Gubernatorial debates:
DE - IN - KY - LA - MO - MS - MT - NC - ND - NH - NJ - PR - UT - VA - VT - WA - WV



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