Final poll analysis finds Biden up 8, battleground states competitive

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — With the arrival of Election Day there are a lot of tense and excited voters out there, and real questions about what happens next.

As Your Local Election Headquarters, News 19 has been providing polling updates over the past four weeks by political analyst Jess Brown — summing up the top-graded polls from fivethirtyeight.com.

Brown has analyzed the A-graded polls from the fivethirtyeight.com website. The site started two decades ago by Nate Silver, who may be the most prominent statistician in the country, examines and evaluates polls. Brown has outlined why he’s focused on those polls.

“He has evaluated, as best I can tell, over 400 polls looking at over 15 years of data,” Brown said. “He developed a grading system and roughly 3 percent of all the polls he evaluates — he gives this ‘A grade’ to.”

For four straight weeks in Brown’s analysis, the polls show Democratic candidate Joe Biden leading. Monday’s final update showed the same thing.

Here’s the poll analysis for:

October 28

October 21

October 14

October 7

The national popular vote surveys find Biden leading President Trump by just over 8 points. Four years ago Hillary Clinton led by just under 4 points, heading into election day.

Clinton won the popular vote by 2 points, but Trump won the Electoral College and the presidency, with a 306-232 margin.

Brown said the major polls are doing far more state-level analysis in 2020 compared to 2016.

Brown’s analysis of the fivethirtyeight.com polling found a lot of sampling.

The summary shows the results of 31 polls conducted and more than 28,000 interviews. It finds Arizona, Florida and North Carolina competitive, with Pennsylvania leaning Biden and Michigan and Wisconsin likely in the Biden column.

Brown says if the polls are substantially wrong, it could mean voter turnout among groups voters who traditionally support Democrats was underestimated. The other major wrinkle could be mail-in ballots. Brown said that as of today some 30 million haven’t been returned, and that is expected to reduce Biden’s totals more than President Trump’s.

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