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fishwax's Journal
fishwax's Journal
November 5, 2020

Here's why I feel confident about Pennsylvania

Just heard on CNN that there are 800,000 votes still left in PA, and Biden has to win about 60-62% of them in order to win the state. That sounds like a lot, but Biden is going to easily outpace that 60-62%.

It appears that Pennsylvania Democrats, more than any other swing state, took advantage of vote by mail. And ALL the ballots that are left are vote by mail. It happens that a huge chunk of them are in counties that should favor Biden, which is encouraging. But here's the thing: it doesn't matter what county in Pennsylvania the ballots come from--they're going to favor Biden heavily either way.

The New York Times has a list of counties with their vote totals and the estimated percentage of votes returned:

There is a consistent pattern in each and every single one of the counties where the vote is >98 in: Trump's margin did not increase in ANY of those counties by more than a couple of points. In Snyder County, for instance, he was +46.8 in 2016 and +47 this year. So he gained a very little. In a few of them he lost a bit. His biggest improvement was in Elk County, which went from +42.4 to +45. But that was only one of a handful of counties where he moved the needle on his margin more than two points. So it looks like, when it comes to improving his share of the vote in a given county, 3 points is probably his ceiling.

In most of those counties he improved his raw vote total, but Biden also improved over HRC's raw vote total. Look at Washington County, for instance, which is the largest county that Trump won. Trump got 61,386 in 2016 and increased that to 71,072 this year. But Biden also eclipsed HRC's 36,822 votes, winning 44,231. Biden came within a few points of matching or else exceeded Trump's increased turnout in every single county that has been completely counted.

Now look at the counties that still have votes outstanding. Some of them are huge Trump counties, like Cumberland, which Trump won by 17.8 points in 2016. Trump pulled 69k in 2016, but only 67k so far this year. So there are probably at least 2k votes for him in the uncounted mail-in ballots. But look at the democratic votes: HRC pulled 47k in 2016 and Biden only has 40k so far. So it seems likely that, even in this solidly Trump county, Biden is going to gain between 3k and 5k votes on Trump when the mail-in ballots are counted. In some of those counties, Trump is running 10, 15, even 20-25 points ahead of his 2016 margins. Which means they almost certainly have big margins of uncounted Biden votes remaining.

And those are the heavily Trump counties. When you figure that most of the remaining votes are in counties that Clinton won in 2016 (like Philadelphia, Allegheny, and Bucks most notably), things look even better. And so far, among all the counties that have counted all their votes, Biden has EXTENDED Clinton's margin in every county that she won in 2016. So the break there will be even bigger for Biden.

Biden is going to win Pennsylvania. Likely by a larger margin than the 44,000 trump won by in 2016. Maybe even by somewhere near or upwards of 100k.

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