| October 20, 2020
In this update, Biden’s lead narrows after he loses North Carolina but this is balanced by gains elsewhere, and how the news about ‘Black Lives Matter’ is linked to Trump’s chances of winning and the election in general.
Trump has managed to shave 5 electoral college votes (ECV) off Biden’s lead in the last week but the overall result is expected to be far from close, with Biden forecast to win by a landslide 308 ECVs, according to our model.
That said it is not all doom and gloom for Trump, who is now projected to win the marginal state of North Carolina, which alone is worth 15 electoral college votes.
New Hampshire and Nevada, on the other hand, (worth 4 and 6 electoral votes respectively) are now more likely to be won by Biden, when previously they had been expected to go to Trump.
Do the math and you’ll work out that Trump is forecast to win only 230 ECVs, according to our model.
If these figures sound implausible, they are optimum results from possible ranges of 187 - 264 for Trump and 274 - 351 for Biden.
Who wins in a handful of closely fought states usually decides most elections and the table below shows the monitor projections for 13 of them.
The first 10 are states ranked according to how close the result in 2016 was, and the next 3 are those that have shown the closest polling in 2020.
New Hampshire is the state which has seen the largest week-on-week swing in its projections, with Trump’s chances of winning plummeting by - 48.6%. What could have triggered such a disastrous about-turn for the President?
It seems one possible explanation is an
from the former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party, Jennifer Horn, urging Republicans not to vote for Trump, because of his track record on handling COVID-19, as well as race and gender issues.
Another state where Trump was in the lead but has now fallen behind again is Nevada where Trump was previously forecast to win with 53.1% but has now seen his winning chances fall to only 46.9%.
In North Carolina, the swing has been back the other way, with Biden’s chances of winning falling by -23.9% to only 32.0% and Trump’s projections rising to 68.0%.
There has been much talk of Biden targeting Texas but according to our monitor, his chances of winning are still relatively low at 10.4%, which is actually 0.6% lower than the previous week.
When the share of news about ‘black lives matter’ (BLM) increases Trump’s chances of winning the election conversely tend to fall.
The thick line in the chart above represents Trump’s chances of winning plotted against the share of news about BLM.
Note how the initial peak in June sparked by the protests over George Floyd’s killing coincided with an immediate dive in Trump’s election chances.
Then at the start of July Trump’s projections improved as the share of the news about BLM declined.
In late July, however, there was another marked divergence as BLM rose and Trump’s probability winning chances correspondingly declined more steeply.
In early September there was a second peak in BLM news and it would have been expected that this would have been accompanied by a further fall in Trump’s winning chances, however, these were by then already extremely low, leaving little room for further downside, and this might explain why the chart is not showing a bigger divergence during that time.
Analysis of the patterns formed by the BLM charts indicates the possibility of a fall in the share of news about BLM in the future, with one possible explanation being it might come about as a result of a Democrat landslide victory leading to fewer protests.
It is possible that a Democrat win in the presidential election and consequent regime change to a more minority-sympathetic administration might lead to a fall in BLM related news, as protesters would perceive lawmakers as more in touch with their grievances.
A technical analysis of the BLM and Trump news chart for the U.S appears to indicate chart features that are bearish for BLM news.
Technical analysis is the art of using chart patterns as forecasting tools. It is usually applied by financial traders to asset price charts but it also has wider applications.
In this case, when applied to the BLM chart, it highlights what may be a bearish right-angled triangle forming and, perhaps, warning of more downside to come.
At the very least the trendline connecting the two peaks in BLM news is likely to act as a ceiling limiting future rises.
This would seem to suggest that BLM news in June and September may fade. Could this be further confirmation the President is unlikely to win the election?
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