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How Trump can win the election

4 November 2020

5:41 PM

4 November 2020

5:41 PM

As of 1:00 a.m. on Election Night, assuming Montana and Alaska go to Donald Trump and Nevada goes to Joe Biden, the presidential race sits at a standstill with Joe Biden at 243 electoral votes and Donald Trump at 216 electoral votes. Ignoring the single electoral votes in Maine and Nebraska, that leaves five states left to be awarded. The focus over the next two days will be on how many votes are left to count compared to what the current margins between the two candidates are in those states.

Here is a breakdown and what Biden needs to do to overcome the Trump leads in the remaining five states, with my prediction on what likely will occur:

Georgia (16 electoral votes)

With 82 percent of precincts reporting, Trump leads by 310,107 votes out of 4,108,591 total votes cast. In 2016, the two major candidates received 3,967,067 votes so the current total already exceeds the 2016 mark. Using Florida’s 19.5 percent turnout increase from 2016 to 2020 as the benchmark, that would mean Georgia has roughly 632,000 more votes to count. Biden would have to win those votes at 75 percent to 25 percent to make up the deficit he is losing by. Odds just aren’t high Biden can sustain that win rate over that many votes.

Prediction: Trump wins (232).

Michigan (16)

With 59 percent reporting, Trump is winning by 305,043 votes out of 3,053,953 votes cast. In 2016, the parties received 4,548,382 votes. At 19.5 percent greater turnout, that leaves 2,381,364 left to count. Biden needs to secure 56.4 percent of all remaining votes to pass Trump in Michigan. As with Wisconsin, the competitiveness of early voting makes it difficult for Biden to secure 56 percent of remaining votes, especially given how many votes remain to be counted.


Prediction: Trump wins (293).

North Carolina (15)

With 94 percent reporting, Trump leads by 76,712 votes out of 5,387,496 total votes cast. In 2016, the candidates earned 4,551,947 votes. Assuming a 19.5 percent increase in turnout and the current vote count, that leaves roughly 52,000 votes left to count. Even if that number is bumped up to 200,000 votes left to count, Biden would need to win 69 percent of the uncounted votes to overcome Trump’s current margin of victory. There just don’t appear to be enough votes left to count or the ability to win such a large chunk of those votes.

Prediction: Trump wins (247).

Pennsylvania (20)

With 64 percent reporting, Trump leads by 682,543 votes out of 4,422,431 votes cast. In 2016, the candidates received 5,897,174 votes. Again, at 19.5 percent increased turnout, that leaves 2,624,692 votes left to count. Biden would need to win 63 percent of all remaining votes to pull past Trump. While Biden will win some of those votes from the urban center by 63 percent, he won’t be able to sustain that rate for over 2.5 million votes.

Prediction: Trump wins (267).

Wisconsin (10)

With 82 percent reporting, Trump is winning by 127,270 votes out of 2,597,128 votes cast. In 2016, the parties received 2,787,820 votes. With a 19.5 percent increase in votes, roughly 734,317 votes still need to be tallied. Biden must get 58.7 percent of all remaining votes to surpass Trump’s lead. Given how competitive early voting was in Wisconsin, the odds that Biden wins all remaining votes by 59 percent just isn’t high.

Prediction: Trump wins (277).

Obviously, Trump can afford to lose one of the five remaining states to secure a second term. Even though Biden only needs to win two of the five states totaling at least 27 electoral votes, the fact that he has to do so with such high win-rates make the odds of him doing that a bit steeper than Trump winning four of the five.

If I’m right, then Trump will have won every state he won in 2016 except Arizona and the polls and pundits will again have been grossly wrong.

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