The Economist predicts Biden landslide

Via Crikey:

It takes a brave publication these days to claim an authoritative prediction for November’s US election.

The Economist has combined polling and demographic and economic data into a model developed with Columbia University political scientists Andrew Gelman and Merlin Hedemann.

And it’s currently predicting a landslide victory for Joe Biden.

The model is currently predicting 333 electoral college votes for Biden to Donald Trump’s 205.

As the site concedes, Hillary Clinton consistently outpolled Trump in 2016, before losing the electoral college and winning the popular vote by a much smaller margin than predicted.

The Economist thus argues that what the model produces of value is the “estimate of uncertainty around that prediction … if the model’s best guess is that Mr Biden will win 51.6327% of the vote, then there is probably a decent chance that he ends up between 51% and 52%, a very good chance he finishes between 49% and 54%, and virtually no chance that he secures less than 46% or more than 57%.”

Given polling’s awful record — across several countries — recently, this is a project well worth keeping an eye on.

The latest polls agree:

It is the base case.

David Llewellyn-Smith
Latest posts by David Llewellyn-Smith (see all)


  1. Oz could be in trouble with China once a very predictable Harris administration is in place.I hope Trump stays for another term (and I like to see liberal/woke tears too)

  2. Democrats always lose because they live in fairy land. They are run by typical rich left wing tossers who have no idea what life is like for the average Joe. They think they should always win because they are right and the republicans are wrong. they think the average person looks at the Republican policies and corruption and will come to the same reasoning the Dems use to justify they should win. The SJW hubris is so high they cant imagine people thinking any other way. they dont understand that a huge number of people will vote for trump, fully understanding his corruption and thievery and nepotism, and they wont care about it because he has a couple of policies that they agree with and are angry over not being listened to by the SJW democrats.
    They will vote for trump because he wants to ban immigration from what he calls sh*t hole countries, and wants to deport illegals and stop illegals crossing the border. And his anti-woke agenda, that he does not like affirmative action or care about African Americans and his anti trans policies etc etc. You name the SW cause and he is anti it and a huge number of people will vote for him warts and all because they are sick of their concerns being dismissed as racism and being called deplorables.

    If i may quote from the film
    Lewis: People want leadership. And in the absence of genuine leadership, they will listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership, Mr. President. They’re so thirsty for it, they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.
    Sheperd: Lewis, we’ve had Presidents who were beloved, who couldn’t find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don’t drink the sand because they’re thirsty, Lewis. They drink it because they don’t know the difference.

    The American President

    Telling the voters they dont know the difference is what the Dems is all about and its why they lose.

    • haha, my reaction too. But I like the economist so , for their sake, I hope they’ve improved their analysis.

    • Probably one of the most infamous magazine covers was an Economist edition from the late 90’s which baldly stated that “oil was dead”. It was at that exact point in time that oil bottomed at about $10 and then began a multiyear climb up to $147 (?). So much like the businessman of the year awards, The Economist can be a bit of a contrary indicator.

      I don’t read it now but when I was living os I used to subscribe, not so much for the conclusions and recommendations but more for the level of analysis they used to put into their work.

      PS I don’t quite get why the hippy freeloader is so exercised by the US presidential elections. Nothing that is said on MB will have any impact on what happens over there.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      Yep. This year, The Economist has been oscillating wildly between standing up for the jobs of the ‘little people’ and being the foghorn of predatory capitalism.

      After decades of cheer leading the dismantling of the middle classes, they don’t have much credibility on this front. That said, they we’re excellent on global affairs at their peak.

    • Yeah, The Economist has lost the plot since they lost their head editor to Bloomberg and replaced him with a very w0ke politically correct editor.

      Their circulation figures are in serious decline since the change.

  3. My money is still on Trump. There are plenty of “undecided” in those polls (why it doesn’t add up to 100%). The woke brigade can’t help but virtue signal their desire to vote for Biden but moderate Trumpsters don’t tell anyone their intentions for fear of being judged, hounded, beaten? by the politically intolerant hard left. I believe This shows up in the polling. Similar thing happened to Hillary and similar to Australians that vote for Pauline Hanson ie. they will vote for her anonymously but they don’t get around telling people, unlike the rabid greens for example. It’s always the silent ones that are the dark horse in polling.

      • No way the majority of Trump voters are voicing their opinions into the sh1t storm of current perspective which equates a vote for Trump as a seig heil.

        If I was American I’d have preferred to have a Sanders / Gabbard Presidency but there’s no way on Earth I could support the Biden / Harris DNC as the Clintons envision. With that option removed it’d be a vote for Trump and I would not admit that to a baying mob of uber wokesters . I have quite a few American friends and they feel the same.

    • Beaten down by the left and too gutless to state their views. If they could expose their thinking to sunlight society would be better. But you’re right, the silent vote of vindictiveness is always under estimated. I love looking for it and guessing what its drivers are each election.

    • When MSM is for so long peddling the narrative that support for Trump is something shameful, many have learned to voice their support only where it matters (voting) and in the mean time go with the flow. This includes response to polls which are not anonymous.
      Silent supporters, in addition to silent undecided.

    • @Tony Smith I’ve heard this line before, that Trump voters too worried about publicly supporting him. However polls aren’t a public announcement, typically a private anonymous phone call – how would this make anyone fearful of being judged? One difference this time around is Trump supporters are very open – protests, regattas, car convoys etc

    • Get some Chris Hedges into you

      Wont be everyones taste but has the narrative pretty much right – the western world has become a corporate fascist state, using its past sense of self as a branding mechanism to hold power, trash any sense of ‘democracy’ we may once have had, and take a little more out of every transaction.

      He is right on the answer too. Not so much resistance, but revolution. Trump may be evil, but Biden is only marginally less so, and is surely not ‘the answer’.

      • Good find. And if you want it in mp3 format, there are browser extensions and addons that allow conversion to mp3.

      • Arthur Schopenhauer

        Reminds me of Yeltsin’s Russia. There’s a huge public service (that is relatively ineffective), an over sized and expensive military, and a kakistocracy squabbling over the most valuable bits of the economy.

        It’s what comes after Trump that’s unsettling.

      • Jumping jack flash

        The problem was that they let the banks off the leash and they enslaved the world and turned everyone and everything into banks and everyone and everything lives by the banking ethos of debt is good, deficits don’t matter, and savings is dead money.

        The solution is to burn the banks and start over.

        The obvious issue with doing this is everyone is enslaved by the banks. Everyone.
        And the other issue is the people who have the power to burn the banks profit immensely from the status quo and so have no desire.

        No traditional political party and political ideology is going to be able to change that. Even less so since governments around the earth introduced Thatcherism (neo liberalism) and sold off all the control they once had over anything.

      • Great find Gunna. Hedges nails it.

        Here’s an excellent piece (written by a conservative) destroying the myths and mindset of both the Dems and the GOP…and the assessment can be easily transferred to Straya

        While a restive working class might provide fertile ground for po­litical upheavals, any fundamental transformation of Western politics will necessarily be led by increasing numbers of the “elite” who defect from the dominant policy consensus and rethink their allegiance to establishment paradigms. Conventional narratives, including many that are critical of the status quo, paint the elite as a unified block aligned with neoliberalism. But the neoliberal economy has created a profound fracture within the elite, the significance of which is just beginning to be felt.

        It wades in at the Right:
        “A highly stratified and largely dysfunctional Republican Party: a few billionaires and corporate interests (mainly those who cannot fit into the more attractive progressive neoliberal program) pay their second-rate propagandists to offer a discredited and incoherent policy agenda to an increasingly disaffected voter base.” “The conservative intellectual infrastructure is like a city after the neutron bomb goes off. There’s a whole network of ideas, and it turns out there are no voters for those ideas.”

        And the left:
        Many of the most aggressive proposals associated with the Left—such as student loan forgiveness and “free college”—are targeted at the top 30 percent, if not higher. Even Medicare for All could potentially benefit households earning be­tween $100,000 and $200,000 the most; cohorts below that are already subsidized. In the past five years, white liberals have moved so far to the left on ques­tions of race and racism that they are now, on these issues, to the left of even the typical black voter.

        While a restive working class might provide fertile ground for po­litical upheavals, any fundamental transformation of Western politics will necessarily be led by increasing numbers of the “elite” who defect from the dominant policy consensus and rethink their allegiance to establishment paradigms. The neoliberal economy has created a profound fracture within the elite, the significance of which is just beginning to be felt.

        The socioeconomic divide that will determine the future of poli­tics, particularly in the United States, is not between the top 30 per­cent or 10 percent and the rest, nor even between the 1 percent and the 99 percent. The real class war is between the 0.1 percent and (at most) the 10 percent—or, more precisely, between elites primarily dependent on capital gains and those primarily dependent on profes­sional labor.

    • _hate_ is as rational argument as they can be… I better go listen to angry mob who hate. That will open eyes wide and broaden horizons.

      • Not a mob, just smart and funny people who see through the grifter’s spiel. Probably all goes Whooosh! over your head though….

        • You mean: smart and funny haters people ???
          What a lovely thing to do: feed the hate-anger on internet, to obesity.

          Indeed Whoosh over my head, I usually duck if there’s sheet flying

        • I'll have anotherMEMBER

          I don’t know about that mate.

          Many of the wokesters seem pretty one eyed, fired up and full of hateful vitriol ready to spew at anyone who isn’t completely onboard with their ideas.

          Many would argue that their lack of willingness to debate is their political downfall.

          Also, the whole, “Only white people can be racist” argument.

          The irony in that type of thinking is very off-putting for many middle class, centrist voters.

          As is the accusations of bigotry whenever it is questioned.

          • You’re picking on the tiny 1% of far left people and trying to tar all left and centre-left with it. Does not work

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      I think you’ll find most of us love Trump and look forward to him smashing your commie chinamen wokeness!

  4. If Trump looks like losing there may be a timely incident in the Taiwan straight. Hold gold and USD up to the election.

    • He cannot afford to lose. Or else he’ll be a 2-term president, one term in state and one term in federal prison.

  5. I prefer the ad hoc polls that pop on twitter especially ones that are established by left leaning actors these polls almost always show Trump winning by 80% or more with social media generally having a left audience i trust these polls far more than the economist,

  6. The Economist, lol. Those bought and paid for shills are the personification of the globopedo cult.

    Weren’t they tongue washing Xitlers rear end just a few years ago? Seriously, if the Economist makes a prediction, the exact opposite is likely to be true.

  7. Trump won’t win for the exact reasons displayed in the comments above – angry white jerks just aren’t a majority. I don’t see Biden turning people off like hilldawg did – but I do see Trump turning off a lot of people.

    Everyone is saying “Biden needs to survive the debate” but I don’t see it, I think it’s Trump who’ll be worries. He’s a literal moron and this time he can’t grandstand about crooked Hillary…

    • Narapoia451MEMBER

      No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the US public, plenty of people have been embarrassingly wrong expecting the same public to see through the open, easily verified lying of Trump, his brazen incompetence and objective psychological incompatibility for the role of president.

      The rest of the world looked on in horror as these same people reelected Bush Jr. I want to believe as you do, but the people of the failed US republic have proven themselves capable of worse than rational people can expect over and over again.

      • I’m not saying anything like that. I’m listening to the same people who made Trump the Republican nominee in 2016 and they are all spitting and screaming and begging for money – they’re audiences are getting smaller not larger, the opposite of 2016.

        But Trump is running the exact same campaign so…

        • If Trump could pick a single opponent I could bet he’d pick Sleepy Joe.
          Come voting time, many siting near the edge whom now poll as non-Trump supporters are likely to swing based on the result of a semi scripted live debate. Reality of Sleepy Joe’s unfitness for the task will sink in.
          I could be wrong… we’ll see

    • Angry fearful white men aren’t a majority but it does seem to be growing as a group. As similar to angry chinaman. I think the focus on the underlying emotion is crucial, it controls all the filtering and you’ll disregard and believe anything. There are a fair few flat earthers, and to a tee they’re all Trumpolinis. Look at the characteristics of YOUR group around you, it will reveal some truths that you won’t face.

      • I really don’t get the racist bit. The Trumpolini racial demographic is widely published. Other Trumpolini groups include Violent right wing extremists, Neo Nazis, conspiracy theorists, flat earthers and gun fanatics. There’s plenty of neuroscience research linking fear and conservatism. It’s not hard to join the dots. Trumpolini appeals to fear and “I’ll blame someone else”.

      • With similar fear and anger, if you were Muslim you’d be in Isis, Chinese would be pro CCP. You have the same emotional mindset, just a different team.

      • More taxes won’t fix anything, unless they are inheritance and asset taxes. Like Donny Trump showed, getting around income tax is simple, infact you can get paid to lose. Simple solution is debt jubilee for people, not banks. Repay the banks with their own fake money, not real labour.

  8. Jumping jack flash

    If Biden does win, and maybe he will, then once again the people will be sorely disappointed and next election we will see a republican and then more disappointment, and then a democrat, and so on and so forth.

    A string of disappoinment and case of “greener grass is on the other side, always!”.

    Fairly sure this is the case everywhere, even here, but not so much lately, we just change leaders in the same party every so often to spice things up.

    This is because the “other” party is irrelevent to everyone’s needs, which is gigantic piles of debt. The democrats are probably seen as being just as competent to get the people their debt, but also the US is less nanny state than Aus as well so the people probably don’t look to their president to provide them debt.

    But i digress. The only thing that is assured in modern politics that has sold off all their methods and means of control over the real economy is disappointment.

  9. There is a good chance they both forget what they are running for and have a heart attack mid debate.
    Then they will drag the corpses off the stage as Hunter VS Trump Jr step over the bodies and continues the race.

  10. MSM doesn’t get more MSM than the economist – only the Kouk is a better contrarian indicator.

    “Every mainstream media narrative is….”

  11. Has Mark Blyth made his call yet? What I’ve heard from him so far is a description of the things that leads to Trump supporters being more likely to show up to cast a vote. I haven’t heard him predict who will win the election.

  12. Meh. What ever.

    Will be violence and civil unrest (see i didn’t say war) post election like none before the election. A war is coming qn is who and when.