It's not that Complicated: Why Biden's Very Likely to Win

Election and Bachelorette takes!

Everybody’s a nerd about something. While football coaches can decry the rise of analytics, they’ll spend hours gushing about the intricacies of press man-coverage with a single safety against 11 personnel. Those dudes are nerds too.

Most things are fairly easy to explain though. We can nerd out, but the reality is that simple explanations cover it. The Bachelorette made a tragic mistake casting Clare and not the incredible Hannah Ann. But Clare—I still can’t get over her making a guy write out all the bad things people say about him on date one—has been upfront about why she likes Dale. She thinks Dale is super attractive, and that shades everything. The rest of the dudes aren’t as man-pretty as Dale. We could argue about a bunch of other factors, but Dale’s attractiveness makes him the early favorite.

The 2020 election follows a similar pattern. I enjoy discussing demographic breakdowns or favorability ratings. I like looking at what polling method is superior, or if a cash on hand advantage means something.

But elections usually aren’t that complicated. In 2008, John McCain ran for a third-Republican term during an economic collapse. Nobody with an “R” next to his name was beating Barack Obama. In 1996, Bill Clinton enjoyed peace and a prosperous economy. The GOP had no chance.

2020 hasn’t been that tough either. Donald Trump won an incredibly close election against a deeply unpopular Hillary Clinton in 2016. As America’s grown more diverse in the last four years—older white folks have disproportionately died since 2016, while folks eligible to vote for the first time in 2020 are less-white—Trump either needed to get more popular, or he needed to make Biden less popular than Clinton. Trump’s failed in both respects. Trump isn’t any more popular than last time, and Biden is more popular than Clinton.

With two weeks left, maybe Trump can flip things. But after four years, opinions of Trump are deeply solidified (he’s been below 44% approval in the 538 average since COVID-19 took off in April). Biden has also remained vastly more popular than Clinton. Unless we have the worst polling error in modern history or a substantial change in circumstances, Biden is very likely to win the election. The simplest explanation has made that apparent all year.

You can follow Kendall on twitter @kendallkaut. You can subscribe to the newsletter, which will publish at least weekly on the election and politics at