Tuesday, March 10, 2020

538 final forecast for Super Tuesday redux

In its morning email, 538 makes its final forecast - of massive wins for Joe Biden.

With six states headed to the ballot box today, it’s once again time for FiveThirtyEight to freeze its forecast to see where things stand.

Today’s contests are divided between those that former Vice President Joe Biden will almost certainly win (99 percent chance) and those where Sen. Bernie Sanders has a clearer chance. As the table below shows, Biden is a strong favorite to win four of the seven contests, including three of the four biggest delegate hauls: Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi, as well as North Dakota. But Biden is also a more modest favorite over Sanders in the other three contests — Washington, Idaho and Democrats Abroad — and there’s plenty of room for an upset victory from Sanders. (Especially Democrats Abroad, which has not been polled and is especially hard to model.)

If these predictions hold Biden could win as many as 365 pledged delegates.

What about the state of the overall race? The overall picture has become pretty clear. Our forecast views Biden as an overwhelming favorite with a 99 in 100 shot (more than a 99 percent chance) of winning a majority of pledged delegates. By contrast, Sanders is now an underdog with less than a 1 in 100 shot (0.1 percent chance) of winning a delegate majority, thanks to Biden’s strong performance on Super Tuesday and his lead in the polls. The scenario where no one wins a majority of pledged delegates has also fallen and now has just a 1 in 100 (0.8 percent) chance of occurring.

In the morning email from The Bulwark, Charlie Sykes concludes:

Assuming the polls are right (always a tricky proposition in Michigan), Bernie Sanders’s campaign comes to an end tonight. Or, rather, his even-remotely-plausible path to the nomination comes to an end.

The question is: will he behave like a rational politician and suspend his campaign, or will he be held hostage by his Bros?

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