November 2, 2020

Ok, tomorrow is Election Day (thank God). And with caution thrown to the wind, I will make my key state predictions. Using the latest large sample surveys that are available, and the early partisan votes to confirm my intuition.

First, the basics: All surveys have must have at least 700 or more interviews. No surveys are excluded for their political bias, as long as their methodology is acceptable.

Florida: The Swinging Shine State

10/29 – 10/3148473.5
10/29 – 10/3051453.3
10/29 – 10/3049481.9
10/27 – 10/3147443.2
10/26 – 10/295047
10/25 – 10/2847502.9
10/24 – 10/2948504

These two charts display the current averages between Biden and Trump. With only a day to go, Biden in the last seven polls has 48.6% versus Trump’s 47.3%. That’s only a 1.3% difference and far less a difference than the average margin of error of +/-3.1% (MOE).

But when you look at the early partisan voting turnout, Democrats have only a 108,000 vote lead over registered Republicans. Now I understand that you can’t know how these partisan voters voted, but most will vote along party lines.

The problem is that a 108,000 may not be enough Democratic voters to offset the lead the Republicans can generate on election day. This is the day that Republicans come out of the woodwork to vote. And many Democratic leads have failed to make the finish line after all the votes are cast.

That said, the large NPA turnout may offset this advantage. As I have posted recently, NPA voters have a 58% probability to vote Democratic. This could male the difference for a Biden victory.

It’s obvious that from a statistical point of view, Florida is a tossup and we could wait several days, if not weeks to find out who won. My guess: Donald Trump. When it’s close, the Republicans always seem to find a way to win in Florida.

Doctor Politics Florida Call: Trump


10/29 – 10/3148463.6
10/27 – 10/2945493.5
10/26 – 10/3049433
10/23 – 10/3050463
10/25 – 10/2846494.1

Well if you thought Florida is close, Arizona makes Florida look like a landslide. The average of the last five polls shows Biden with a one point lead, with a margin of error of +/-3.44%. If you look up the word “tossup” in the dictionary you would see a map of Arizona.

And early voting gives the Democrats a lead of only 43,055 votes. This gives Trump a pretty good shot on winning this state.



10/29 – 10/3148493.5
10/28 – 10/2847483.6
10/27 – 10/2848463.8
10/23 – 10/2750464.4

Georgia hasn’t voted for a single Democratic candidate since 1996. But as you can see, the last four larger sample polls, the difference is only one percent.

Georgia does not require a party registration, so we don’t know the partisan early/mail vote party differences. Atlanta has the largest proportion of Democratic voters. So far 780,000 Atlanta votes have been cast, out of a total vote off four million votes cast so far, or about 20% of the vote.

I’m sticking to tradition: Dr. Politics Calls Georgia for Trump


The Keystone State: Pennsylvania

10/31 – 11/150473.5
10/30 – 10/3146482.9
10/29 – 11/151464.4
10/27 – 11/151454.3
10/27 – 10/3149432.4

Next to Florida, this is a state that really matters if you are a Trump fan. If he loses this state on Tuesday, Donald Trump can go ahead and rent that moving van. (He will, of course, contest this and several other state totals, so he can probably wait a few more weeks.)

Biden is leading in every recent poll except
Trafalgar, which is the pollster who called Trump winning in 2016. They have Trump up by 2 points. The average Biden lead among all surveys is 3.6%, just above the margin of error.

As far as the early vote, Democrats have over a one million mail vote lead over Republicans going into election day.

Dr. Politics Call: Biden


10/30 – 10/3146482.9
10/29 – 10/3052453.4
10/27 – 11/152424
10/29 – 10/2952453.4

In the last four Michigan surveys, Biden leads in all but one poll. It is, of course, the Trafalgar survey with Trump leading by 2%. On average, Biden leads by 5.5%, above the average margin of error of 3.4%.

Wisconsin: The Blue Wall Holds

Excluding Trump’s narrow win in 2016, no Republican presidential candidate has won this state since 1988.

10/29 – 10/3053453.5
10/27 – 11/153434.2
10/26 – 10/3052413.2
10/24 – 10/2548472.9
10/23 – 10/3052443.9
10/21 – 10/2548434.4

And as we enter election day, it looks like this trend will continue. Biden now has a 7.2% lead. The average margin of error is +/-3.7%, absent 2016 polling errors, this looks Biden has this state’s 10 electoral votes.

IMPORTANT: Biden can win the electoral college vote without Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Arizona and Nevada, if he carries Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan. (And the other states Hilary won easily in 2016).

This would give Biden 280 Electoral Votes and the keys to the White House.

If you are concerned a 2016 poll redux, I don’t seeing this happening in any significant way. All the pollsters I have talked to have resolved many of the weighting issues that caused most the errors. More importantly, we have far more state-level surveys than we did in 2016 making the averages more reliable.

As for watching the election results on TV, make sure you have plenty of alcohol on hand. It’s going to be a long night… be safe.

By Jim Kane

Jim Kane is a pollster and media advisor, and was for fifteen years an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of Florida. Kane is founder of the polling firm USAPoll and served as the Director of the Florida Voter Poll. His political clients have included both Republican and Democratic candidates, including the Republican Party of Florida, and both the Sun-Sentinel and Orlando Sentinel newspapers. At the University of Florida, Professor Kane taught graduate level courses in political science on Survey Research, Lobbying and Special Interest Groups in America, Political Campaigning, and Political Behavior. In addition to his professional and academic career, Jim Kane has been actively involved in local and state policy decisions. He was elected to the Broward County Soil and Water Conservation Board (1978-1982) and the Port Everglades Authority (1988-1994). Kane also served as an appointed member of the Broward County Planning Council (1995-2003), Broward County Management Review Committee (Chair, 1990-1991), Broward County Consumer Protection Board (1976-1982), and the Broward County School Board Consultants Review Committee (1986-1990).

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