Random Observations

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October 30, 2020 1:37 p.m.

Looking at the totality of the polls, the big story still seems to be an essential stability. In our conversation with Guy Cecil of Priorities USA yesterday, he said that their internal polls showed much more stability than the more scattershot public polls. But even those public polls seem quite consistent. The thing you see in these last few days is that the density of polling is so great that a lot of the randomness and bounciness created by different pollsters with different methodologies and house effects releasing polls at different times gets washed away. The picture doesn’t necessarily change but it can come into clearer focus.

Three states continue to draw my attention with small but non-trivial moves. Trump appears to be gaining some ground in Florida, though it’s a small enough movement that it could just be noise. (It doesn’t have to be much; it’s super close.) At the same time there seems to be a real movement toward Biden in Georgia. Georgia doesn’t seem to be a pure toss-up right now. It looks more like the slightest of advantages for Biden.

It’s not inconceivable that Trump wins Florida and Biden wins Georgia.

Florida is worrisome to me for all the obvious reasons. It’s a big chunk of electoral votes. And it has a Republican muscle memory that has led to so much Democratic heartbreak. Let alone 2000, 2004 and 2016, in some ways 2018 is the most daunting. Even in a Democratic route year it delivered for the GOP. It still seems more likely than not that Biden wins Florida. And if he does that’s the ballgame. But I’ll believe it when I see it.

The additional significance of that Georgia movement is that there are two Senate races, though candidates have to top 50%. If Georgia ends up being strong for Biden it could not only all but clinch the electoral college. It could have a big impact on the battle for control of the Senate.

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