Forecasting the 2020 Electoral College Winner: The State Presidential Approval/State Economy Model 

Forecasting the 2020 Electoral College Winner: The State Presidential Approval/State Economy Model 

by Peter K. Enns and Julius Lagodny

To forecast the 2020 Electoral College winner, Peter Enns and Julius Lagodny develop a model to predict the outcome in each state (plus Washington DC) based primarily on each state’s presidential approval ratings, economic conditions, and past vote. 104 days before the election, their model forecasts that Joe Biden will win 54.5% of the two-party popular vote and 290 Electoral College Votes. Using their model to simulate 70,000 Electoral College outcomes, they find Biden has about a 6-in-10 chance of winning the Electoral College, giving Trump about a 4-in-10 chance of being re-elected. Although the model predicts Biden will win the popular vote and the Electoral College, if Trump does win, it will most likely be with exactly 270 votes.


The editorial team at PS: Political Science & Politics is pleased to release of the 2020 Presidential Election Forecasting symposium. This year, due to the amazing work done by Ruth Dassonneville and Charles Tien, we have 12 forecasts and three critical reviews. We hope teachers, journalists, and the general public will read, reflect, and comment.  For the latest updates, follow PS on Twitter.

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