Nate Silver, the founder of FiveThirtyEight and recognized elections expert, has released his predictive model for the 2024 presidential election. His model currently favors former President Donald Trump, who is the presumptive Republican nominee, to defeat President Joe Biden in what would be a repeat of their previous contest from four years ago.

“The model is ready,” announced Silver on X. “And here’s our headline: the presidential election isn’t a toss-up.” According to Silver, the model he created for the 2024 election closely mirrors the one he developed for FiveThirtyEight in 2020, with adjustments made for “turnout dynamics.” This includes accounting for the increased impact of third-party candidates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and omitting assumptions specific to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Silver went on to note some problems with developing such election models:

Statistical modeling requires making a lot of choices. And election forecasting is a hard problem. Even choices as seemingly straightforward as how to calculate a “polling average” involve any number of parameters: which polls to include, how to weight them, how much to prioritize the most recent ones, and so on. This is even more of an issue once we start to consider “fundamental” factors such as incumbency or “the economy”. Even if we can agree that it’s a good idea to incorporate these things, there are basically infinite “researcher degrees of freedom” in exactly how you do it.

But all told, Silver is nevertheless confident in who he sees coming out on top in November: Trump. “The candidate who I honest-to-God think has a better chance (Trump) isn’t the candidate I’d rather have win (Biden),” he declared. That conclusion is backed up by his model, which found “that Trump was favored by a slightly larger degree” than Silver had anticipated.

“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. “So if we’re being honest, pundits who obsess over whether Biden is 1 point ahead in national polls are kind of missing the point.”

Silver eventually unveils his model, which, after running 40,000 simulations, predicts that Trump has a 65.7% chance of winning the Electoral College, with an average of 287.2 electoral votes to Biden’s 250.4. The model also suggests Biden is slightly more likely (51%) to win the popular vote, but by a very narrow margin of 47.2% to 47.1%. This model differs from FiveThirtyEight’s, which currently shows Biden with a slight edge (51%) in the Electoral College over Trump.

Should Trump Prosecute Biden?*
This poll subscribes you to our newsletter. Unsubscribe any time.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



Disclaimer: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.