Democratic nominee Joe Biden “becomes an underdog” in the presidential race on Tuesday if he fails to secure Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral college votes, according to FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver.
Silver made the remarks on Sunday after ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos asked him what he believes the “key factors” would be in the presidential election, should Silver find himself on Wednesday writing a story about Trump securing a second term.
“I think it would come down to Pennsylvania,” replied Silver. “Pennsylvania has not bumped up to a 7- or 8-point Biden lead like we’ve seen in Michigan or Wisconsin.”
Silver, who rose to prominence after accurately predicting all but one state’s electoral outcome in the 2008 election, observed that Biden’s polling lead in Pennsylvania is around five points, and furthermore, it’s not considered “a big early voting state.”
Among the other factors that could complicate Biden’s polling lead, he said, include Pennsylvania’s security envelope requirement, a potential court battle over votes, and the recent unrest and looting in Philadelphia.
“There’s lots of stuff going on, and maybe a lot of little things add up,” said Silver, reports Axios. “Without Pennsylvania, Biden becomes an underdog.”
According to the RealClearPolitics polling average, Biden currently leads Trump in Pennsylvania by about 4 points. However, a recent survey aggregated by the website shows Trump ahead by 2 points, and another one shows Trump and Biden tied.
The Biden campaign, perhaps feeling the pressure to perform well in Pennsylvania and reassemble the “blue wall” that infamously collapsed around Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, has scheduled over a dozen events across the commonwealth for the day before the election, including events with former second lady Jill Biden, Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), and Doug Emhoff, Harris’ husband.
On election eve, Biden also plans to bring out pop star Lady Gaga for a drive-in event in Pittsburgh — where the largest newspaper in the city just endorsed Trump, their first Republican presidential endorsement since 1972 — and she is expected to perform two songs, according to CBS-21 News. Meanwhile Harris plans to bring out singer John Legend at her own event in Philadelphia.
The pop star teased at her upcoming trip to Pennsylvania on Saturday when she posted a cringey election video encouraging the public to vote for Biden, while wearing camo, sipping a beer, and leaning on a pick-up truck. She then tried to crush the mostly full beer can, and proceeded to throw it on the ground before saying, “cheers.”
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) October 31, 2020
Silver wrote in a post on Saturday that he expects more Pennsylvania polling to come out from major polling agencies ahead of the election. He called this expectation an “important exception” to his belief that major polling agencies would not be releasing many new state polls before Tuesday.
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