* Slider_Quinn21 still has full confidence in the math and Joe Biden *
But I have my moments when I lose my faith. I've begun a regimen where I make sure I get 10,000 steps every day. Because of various factors, this requires me to walk around my house at night with nothing to do but listen to podcasts or read things on twitter. I used to listen exclusively to the Rewatchables or the Weekly Planet, but I've mixed in 538 and have been poring over polling data. And while 538's model is reasonably confident in a Biden win, I also fall down rabbit holes that lead me to dark places where Trump's chances look better.
Like most Trump-adjacent things, the data is vague, debatable, or explainable. But it's still there. A lot of it depends on two things - the race tightening and the polls being wrong. One or the other and it doesn't work.
And last night I had a crisis of faith. Florida is a toss-up, even in a Biden-confident place like 538 (they have him at 65% to win Florida) so it's easy to see that one going to Trump. Then there's Pennsylvania - most of the evidence there is anecdotal and contradictory, but there's certainly a chance Trump wins there (538 gives him a 14% chance). What if Trump wins both? It's over, right?
What's funny is that it's not. As long as Biden holds Michigan (94% chance), Wisconsin (93% chance), and Minnesota (93% -chance), and either Nebraska-2 (78%), Maine-2 (55%), or Iowa (51%), then Biden just needs to win one of these states to win:
- Arizona (70%)
- North Carolina (65%)
- Georgia (57%)
- Ohio (39%)
- Texas (32%)
In other words, if you trust the polling, Biden can lose two states he's mathematically supposed to win that are remarkably different in many ways (so losing one wouldn't mean losing the other) and he still has several backup plans that are all mathematically more likely to happen than not. He could win Arizona and Nebraska-2. He could win Iowa and North Carolina. He could win Maine-2 and Georgia.
And even if all that falls through, he still has the same odds that Trump would've overcome to win Ohio or Texas.
Trump has to win them all.
Or break through the blue wall in the Midwest.
All possible. Statistically unlikely. Trust the math and it will ease your nerves during your night walks to get to 10,000 steps.