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Famed Polling Expert Predicts Heavy Favorite Between Trump, Biden

Famed polling expert Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight predicted former President Donald Trump as a heavy favorite over President Joe Biden ahead of their first debate Thursday (June 27) night.

Silver unveiled his quadrennial model Wednesday (June 26), which gave Trump a 65.7% chance of victory in the upcoming November 5 presidential election. The prediction, which is based on 40,000 simulations run through the model, has Trump, 78, receiving 287 electoral votes — with 270 needed to be elected — though Biden, 81, is projected to win the popular vote by one-tenth of a percentage point.

“The candidate who I honest-to-God think has a better chance (Trump) isn’t the candidate I’d rather have win (Biden),” Silver wrote in a blog post headlined ‘The presidential election isn’t a toss-up’ explaining his findings on Wednesday.

“If the Electoral College/popular vote gap looks anything like it did in 2016 or 2020, you’d expect Biden to be in deep trouble if the popular vote is roughly tied,” he added.

Trump currently has a 0.1% edge over Biden in FiveThirtyEight‘s estimated average of national polls for the 2024 presidential election. Silver had previously predicted Biden was favored to win the 2020 election, but was criticized for giving Hillary Clinton a 71.4% chance of winning over Trump after the former president 304 electoral college votes to win the election.

“I think people shouldn’t have been so surprised,” Silver told the Harvard Gazette in 2017. “Clinton was the favorite, but the polls showed, in our view, particularly at the end, a highly competitive race in the Electoral College. We had him with a 30 percent chance, and that’s a pretty likely occurrence. Why did people think it was much less than that? I think there are a few things.”

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