We Are One Month From The Election. How Accurate Are National Polls?

Election day is now just 30 days away. Democratic nominee Joe Biden currently has an 8 point lead in national polls over Republican nominee Donald Trump, according to the FiveThirtyEight polling average. But isn’t one month still plenty of time for a comeback? How safe is Mr. Biden’s lead?

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Pennsylvania and the 2016 Urban vs. Rural Divide

I have been digging into election data recently. Specifically, the MIT Election Lab has a great dataset with the presidential election results of each county since 2000. I paired that data with a 2013 county classification scheme from the NCHS which sorts counties into groups based on how large they are and how close they are to a large metro.

I was interested in where the shifts were from the 2012 to the 2016 election. Where did Democrats lose (and gain) ground? Of course, when you lose about 2 million votes in the popular vote margin, as the Democratic candidate did from 2012 to 2016, you are doing more losing of ground than gaining of ground.

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Where Did The Popular Vote Shift The Most From The 2012 To The 2016 Election?

When it comes to U.S. presidential elections, analysts rightly focus on the Electoral College. After all, this is the system, rather than the popular vote, that determines the winner. But I think there are interesting trends in the popular vote that can be easy to miss if we just look at which states are colored red and blue in the maps we see every four years.

For a moment, let’s focus our attention on raw vote margins. In the 2016 race, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton received roughly 2.9 million more votes than Republican candidate Donald Trump. This was a smaller margin than the approximate 5 million vote lead Barack Obama achieved over Mitt Romney in 2012. So we have a 2.1 million shift in the popular vote towards the Republicans that we have to account for between 2012 and 2016. Where did these votes come from?

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Is The Game 1 Score Predictive Of The Rest Of The Series?

Here will be a very short post that will take a stab at the question in the title.

With the eighth seeded Trail Blazers upsetting the Lakers last night (less surprising) and the eighth seeded Magic upsetting the Bucks earlier in the day (more surprising!), the natural question is what can we expect going forward. Should we have higher expectations for our underdogs in future games of the series?

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The 2020 NBA Title Chase Still Looks Like a Three Horse Race

Way back in October, before the start of what has turned out to be a historic season, three teams stood out from the rest- the Bucks, Clippers, and Lakers. Now, nearly 10 months later and finally at the start of the Bubble Playoffs in Orlando, the same three contenders appear to have strengthened their hold on the title race.

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