Earlier this year, I provided some trends to watch regarding the upcoming US election. Now it’s nearly a month away and votes are already being cast in some states. So, we’re down to the wire. With this in mind, I’ll now share a bevy of comparative points you can check out to make election night more interesting…

First off, let’s see what the election oracle says in the Presidential race. Allan Lichtman recently made his call on the race according to his nearly foolproof 13 keys to the White House:

Keys:

  1. Party Mandate: After congressional midterms, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives FALSE, lost House in 2018.
  2. Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination – TRUE
  3. Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president – TRUE
  4. Third party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign – TRUE
  5. Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign – FALSE, we’re in a recession
  6. Long-term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms – FALSE, per capita growth less
  7. Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy – TRUE
  8. Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term- FALSE, massive unrest
  9. Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal – FALSE, scandals abound: impeachment, Covid-19 cover up and more
  10. Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs – TRUE
  11. Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs – FALSE, nothing major achieved
  12. Charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero – FALSE, not a hero, nothing implying charisma as appeal limited to a minority percentage
  13. Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero – TRUE

Adding up and interpreting his keys, Lichtman’s assessment is that Biden will win. According to his model: 7 of the statements are false, and 6 or more false ones indicate that the challenger wins. His pick is now locked as there is no time left for the model to indicate differently before November 3rd.

The big shift to watch for on election night, aside from the Presidential election, will be the Senate. It is truly up for grabs and you can see in mapped views how well the various predictors here perform on election night.

This map’s got a dropdown for different prognosticators. After the default view (consensus average), the first dropdown choice shows how the polling averages are predicting the outcome – currently showing (as of 9/25/20) an advantage of 50-44 to Democrats with 6 true toss-up states. Then the various gurus can be chosen by the dropdown and most have lately been showing something along an even spilt of 47, 48 or 49 races for each party with the remainder being toss-ups. But expect changes each week over this last month of campaigning while early voting runs its course and then they’ll lock down final predictions before election day.

Following the last Presidential election, new gurus were anointed, and others were labeled as having “faulty prediction models.” We’ll see who’s got it right this year in about a month…or will we?

If you’ve got cool election insights or indicators to watch, share them with us here.

— Mark Salow, Senior Consultant