why biden’s win was (almost) inevitable

Biden pic

If you follow the blog, you know that I prefer to think in terms of fundamentals. In politics, that means that your default prediction is that incumbents have a big advantage. So my default prediction was a Biden win. However, I was relatively soft because Biden has a history of sucking hard in presidential contests. He dropped out in 1988, got about 1% in 2008, and even did badly in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

But he had some massive advantages – he was the de-facto incumbent in 2020 for the party, his main opponents (Warren and Sanders) were too far left, and other centrists split the vote. Black voters backed the establishment candidate, as they usually do, which led to big Biden wins in South Carolina and the rest of the South.

Now we have lots of polling data. Biden was the *only* candidate to ever poll consistently at 30%. The only exception was a temporary dip during the Iowa-New Hampshire cycle and then he was endorsed by most of the minor candidates. Warren got briefly up to Biden’s numbers – for a day. My hypothesis is that briefly many voters did actually consider Sanders, but the party strongly argued the other direction and voters went with them. The Super Tuesday wins just sealed the deal and almost all remaining voters went Biden very quickly.

Bottom line: Incumbency is a big, big deal.



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Written by fabiorojas

April 13, 2020 at 12:07 am

Posted in uncategorized

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