But the election is not held today. It will take place in just under four months. That’s a lot of time.
To be clear, I don’t mean that Biden and Trump have similar chances of winning, far from it. Biden is clearly the favorite.
What I mean is that people often don’t realize what the odds really mean. It is possible that something has no chance of happening, but it is quite conceivable that it will happen.
It is not surprising to receive a survey result that is outside the margin of error. It is even less surprising when a survey falls within the margin of error of the other results, albeit at the upper or lower end of the published results.
Borrowing from this concept of margin of error, there is literally no reliable forecast known to suggest that Biden’s advantage is outside that 95% confidence interval when projected toward November.
You can see how a career can change from this moment on by looking at history.
That is more than the current margin between Biden and Trump. Two of 13 times is more than 2.5%. One of the 13 times is much more than that.
This landmark study doesn’t even take into account that Trump probably has a better chance of winning the Electoral College than the popular vote.
Importantly, you can see many different forecasts and come to conclusions similar to mine.
There are clearly differences between these probabilities. The similarity between them all is that Biden is ahead, though not enough to have an advantage that can be seen anywhere near being outside the true margin of error.
The worst result for Trump is having a probability of 1 in 10. His shot would need to be below 1 in 40 to be considered outside the true margin of error.
In fact, we still have many events and possible game changes ahead of us.
Also, the coronavirus pandemic is bad right now, but there is no real way to know how things will be when voters cast their ballots. Perhaps the case rate is lower. Maybe there will be better treatments. We just don’t know.
Speaking of the coronavirus, it appears that this campaign is not even really underway. Usually, a presidential campaign is the main news right now. But with the pandemic and protests against police brutality, it has been story number three in the past month.
The campaign will eventually become story number one. With a compressed time frame, we may see bigger jumps later in the campaign than we are used to in modern campaigns.
The bottom line is, unless the economy totally collapses or Biden begins to lead closer to 20 points than 10 points, this election will never come close to being safe in his corner at this early juncture.