Poll-Based Election Forecasts Will Always Struggle With Uncertainty

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- We have no idea how much uncertainty exists in pre-election polls. That leads to very complex poll-based forecast models. -- The general public lacks the expertise necessary to appropriately interpret win probabilities from those complex models. -- Some research shows that overly certain forecasts...

The Electoral College: The Fringe of the Map Expands

If Trump’s numbers don’t improve, some surprising states could come into play

Editor's Note: This is the first of two issues of the Crystal Ball this week. We'll be back Thursday with our regularly-scheduled issue. KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- President Trump’s position has been perilously weak for a month and a half. -- With Joe Biden’s national lead around eight...

States of Play: Georgia

Once-dominant Democrats need formerly Republican suburbs to come through for them in 2020

Dear Readers: In the next installment of our States of Play series -- in which we'll be taking an in-depth look at the key states that will decide the presidential election -- we look at Georgia, which Democrats are trying to win for the first time since 1992. Crystal Ball...

The Clock’s Ticking for Kanye

And anyone else who wants to make a late entry into the presidential race

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Kanye West tweeted over the weekend that he is running for president. -- He has already missed some state deadlines to file for president as an independent, and other deadlines loom. Presidential filing deadlines loom Rapper Kanye West tweeted the following over the weekend:...

The Rise of Ranked-Choice Voting

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- 2020 has been a banner year for ranked-choice voting. -- Several Democratic primary and caucus contests used the system, which asks voters to rank their choice and forces winners to achieve majority support, albeit through votes from those who did not pick them first...

States of Play: Pennsylvania

Dear Readers: As we’ve stressed throughout this election season, the president isn’t picked by national polling or the popular vote, but rather by the individual states -- successful presidential nominees must cobble together a coalition of at least 270 electoral votes. With that in mind, we’re launching a series called...

The Electoral College: Trump’s Floodgates are Creaking

Florida, Pennsylvania shift toward Biden, but he’s still shy of the magic number 270 in our ratings

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- We are making two Electoral College rating changes this week. -- Florida moves from Leans Republican to Toss-up, and Pennsylvania moves from Toss-up to Leans Democratic. -- This means 268 electoral votes are rated as at least leaning to Joe Biden in our ratings;...

Our Revamped VP Rankings

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice enter our list of Joe Biden's vice presidential contenders. -- Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) drops off. -- The top names remain the same. Biden’s VP contenders Our friend, top vice presidential scholar...

The Biden VP Calculus

The choice matters; more than one factor will go into it; and it's too soon to predict the pick

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- As Joe Biden zeroes in on his VP options, there are some myths about the choice that are worth exploring. -- The pick does in fact matter, or at least it has historically, and whoever is chosen won’t be picked for just one reason,...

Comparing National Polls in 2016 and 2020

Biden’s lead has been similar to Clinton’s, but it has been more stable

Editor's Note: This is the first of two issues of the Crystal Ball this week. We'll be back Thursday with our regularly-scheduled issue. KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- In aggregate, Joe Biden’s national lead over Donald Trump so far this year is very similar to the lead Hillary Clinton...

Notes on the State of Politics

VP omissions; recapping Tuesday’s primaries

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) seems to be rising in the Biden veepstakes. -- Late Wednesday, Jon Ossoff (D) apparently captured the Democratic nomination to face Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), thus avoiding a runoff. -- Primaries in South Carolina and West Virginia saw...

Landslide Elections and Policy Mandates

KEY POINTS FROM THIS ARTICLE -- Election landslides can sometimes look like policy mandates for the winners. -- But landslides have become rare in presidential elections since 1960. -- The legitimacy of U.S. elections might benefit from a new landslide in 2020. Could 2020 be a landslide? As we approach...