2020 election: How did the Political Science Forecasters Do?

Alan I. Abramowitz of Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball –

— Prior to the election, several prominent political scientists forecast the election in PS: Political Science and Politics.

— In aggregate, the forecasts performed very well.

— However, several individual forecasts missed the mark, and this election showed the importance of questioning the assumptions of models in the midst of an unusual election.

Assessing 2020’s political science forecasts:

The October 2020 issue of PS: Political Science and Politics included 10 forecasts of the national popular vote and seven forecasts of the electoral vote by prominent political science forecasters. Some of these forecasts were based on longstanding models while others were novel.

Some were based on national data and others on state-level data. Some of the forecasts were originally made several months before the election and others much closer to the election.

And some of the forecasts turned out to be quite accurate while others turned out to be far off the mark.


About Radnor Reports

Ken Feltman is past-president of the International Association of Political Consultants and the American League of Lobbyists. He is retired chairman of Radnor Inc., an international political consulting and government relations firm in Washington, D.C. Known as a coalition builder, he has participated in election campaigns and legislative efforts in the United States and several other countries.
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