Zero Days Out: Final Predictions

I did it! After a long layoff, PPFA has delivered on its promise of one post per day for the last week of the election. I’m not sure whether to say “You’re welcome” or “Sorry,” so I’ll just say: I’m so grateful to have you here.

But enough about me. Let’s talk about you. Let’s talk about the country. IT’S ELECTION DAY! You made it. The country has forged through a pandemic, social strife, and a Lakers NBA Championship just to get to this election, a process we should never take for granted. In the history of civilization, republican institutions are not the rule. They are the exception. In so many ways we lament our modern misfortunes, but in so many more ways we should remind ourselves how lucky we are to be alive right now.

Enough mushy stuff. You didn’t come here for mush. You came here for rock hard PPFA analysis. It’s now time to lock in predictions for Election Night 2020, even if we might not be able to check my work for days. This post will be split into three parts, the last of which will be the longest.

  1. Part I: the House of Representatives
  2. Part II: the Senate
  3. Part III: the Presidency

As you watch tonight, remember to keep handy yesterday’s post, where I walked you through poll closing times and the states to keep an eye on.

Okay, let’s do it — PPFA’s official 2020 prediction begins… NOW!

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One Day Out: Your 2020 Election Viewing Guide

Tomorrow, it ends. Or, rather, tomorrow is the beginning of the end. Or maybe it’s the end of the beginning? Who knows anymore.

Though days of counting ballots will ensue, we hope that tomorrow, by the wee hours, we’ll have enough hard data and projectable data to determine who will win the House, Senate, and presidency. But don’t hold your breath.

To best prepare you for the big night, I’d like to give you a viewing guide. (It is now my longest running gimmick. I did it four years ago on PPFA, and I did it four years before that for Construction Literary Magazine. My record is 1-1, which technically is with the margin of error of 2-0.) This viewing guide will highlight battlegrounds for control of the presidency and Senate (which will be highlighted in green). Though #AllStatesMatter, in an election year some states matter more than others.

When consuming election coverage, you’ll want to know the following:

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Six Days Out: The Race for the Presidency

Yesterday, I determined that the safest bet of this election was that the House of Representatives stays in Democratic hands. In contrast, I wouldn’t feel confident wagering on the the presidential and Senate results. Of the two, I feel more confident — or, that is, less unconfident — in the presidential race, so today it is on that race I’ll focus. Later this week, I’ll look at the scramble for the Senate.


The Presidency

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One Week Out: The Race for the House

(I’m back!) (For a week, anyway.)

In one week, we’ll have what we’ve traditionally called “Election Night.” However, as has become the theme of 2020, things will now be… different.

It’s now appropriate to re-label that precious evening over which and during which many of us lose sleep. The fact is that Election Night is no longer just one night. People have been voting for weeks, and then, after Election Night, we can expect to count votes for weeks. No, it’s not Election Night. It’s the Election Season.

This Election Season will determine all 435 members of the US House of Representatives, 35 members in the US Senate, and the one member who will be sworn in as president on January 20, 2021. The political direction of our country for the next two to four years will be determined, but what direction will that be?

I’m glad you asked.

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Mediocre Tuesday

Have you ever had a significant other whose prior significant other was particularly good-looking or talented, leaving you feeling a little, um, “inadequate”?

No? Oh. Me neither.

If we had, though, I bet we’d feel a little like today’s slate of primary contests. Super Tuesday spoiled us. Remember when a single state and just a few dozen delegates got us excited? Those were the days. But after mega Super Tuesday, with Joe Biden now on a likely inexorable march toward the nomination, nothing can compare to the exhileration of the unknown. Just 352 delegates? Please. That’s not even one California. It’s barely a Texas-and-a-half!

But I digress. Let’s take a look at Mediocre Tuesday.

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The Pivot

Super Tuesday is behind us, as are a couple dozen Democratic candidates. Now we pivot to the final stage of this protracted primary: a brawl between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, one that could drag on for months. (I feel like we should be listening to this track from Rocky II. Bill Conti, ladies and gentlemen!)

We’re already seeing their supporters tussle online, a clear home game for Sandersites. They’re beside themselves that Democrats would actually nominate Biden, promising (or at least threatening) not to vote for him. Meanwhile, Biden supporters chide them for such language, pretending they wouldn’t be reacting the same way were it Sanders on his way to the nomination. It’s going to be an ugly spring.

Without question, Biden has the upper hand, but can we expect a Sanders comeback? Or at least an open convention?

To both questions, I’m afraid the answer is no.

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Unpacking Nevada — and on to South Carolina

As expected, Bernie Sanders secured a big Nevada win on Saturday, and he remains by far the likeliest Democratic nominee. And yet, perhaps — just perhaps — anti-Bernie Democrats were offered a glimmer of hope all the same.

I’ll circle back to that soon. For now, let’s work our way up Nevada’s results.

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Nevada Caucuses 2020: Preview

We’ve arrived at the third contest of the 2020 Democratic Primary: the Nevada caucuses. Just three days removed from a testy debate — one in which the most targeted candidate is not on today’s ballot and the least targeted candidate is the strong favorite to win the nomination — we’re eager to see how the exchanges were interpreted by voters.

The churlish debate, however, is not the only thing that makes today’s contest unpredictable. For the following reasons, Nevada is a notoriously quirky contest:

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