Election 2024: Day -130

With the first debate happening later today, I decided it was about time to return to the naming format that I had used with my “Election 2020” posts, using a day count for the subtitle instead of something topical.

Honestly, as a sports fan it has been a difficult week to pay attention to politics. We had a magnificent Stanley Cup Final Game 7 on Monday, with the Oilers failing to break the now-31-year Canadian curse; in global football, both the European Championship and an expanded Copa America (being played in the U.S. with some CONCACAF teams joining the CONMEBOL regulars) are ongoing; the NBA draft was last night, continuing today; the NHL draft is tomorrow night, continuing the day after; and various U.S. Olympic Trials are in flight: those for swimming & diving recently ended in Indianapolis and Knoxville, those for track & field are ongoing in Eugene, and those for gymnastics are getting underway here in Minneapolis.

There were further Congressional primaries this Tuesday, and while the Good-McGuire race in Virginia from the previous week remains too close to call, this week an incumbent was scalped in an even more expensive primary race. However, this time it was on the Democratic side of the aisle, as one of the most radical left House members was successfully primaried to his right, reflecting the fact that redistricting had recently added portions of Westchester County to what was previously a Bronx-heavy seat. George Latimer beat the incumbent, Jamaal Bowman, 59-41 in what has been called the most expensive primary ever; Bowman’s pro-Palestinian views brought a lot of pro-Israel PAC money into the election. In other primary news, controversial Republican Lauren Boebert successfully carpetbagged her way into a safer seat than her own. She will be the Republican candidate this fall to replace Ken Buck in the Colorado 4th, leaving an open election this fall in her former seat, the 3rd.

SCOTUS released opinions both yesterday and today, and will release more tomorrow, but did not announce that tomorrow would be the final day. Trump v. U.S. is still outstanding, so it could come tomorrow, or perhaps Monday.

Yesterday former Congressman and Jan 6th Committee member Adam Kinzinger became perhaps the first prominent anti-Trump Republican politician to take the next logical step and formally endorse Biden.

Another interesting development yesterday was the release by Nate Silver of the first version of his best-in-class political model for the 2024 Presidential election. His model presently has a Trump as a 65% favorite to win, as difficult as that may be to hear.

Nationally, he has Biden with a slight popular vote lead, 47.2% to 47.0% However, to focus on the key states:

  • Pennsylvania is 59% for Trump, with an average margin of 1.1%;
  • Michigan is 54% for Trump, with an average margin of 0.6%; and
  • Wisconsin is 57% for Trump, with an average margin of 0.8%.

Silver’s model also has Minnesota at 27% for Trump, making it the equivalent for his campaign of states like Nevada (31%), Arizona (23%), and Georgia (20%) for Biden’s — the difference being, of course, that in 2020 Biden won each of those latter three states. The only “expand the map” state that Silver’s model sees as more than a remote potential for Biden is North Carolina, at 14%.

Silver also estimates that Pr{Biden wins election | Biden wins all of PA, MI, WI} = 97%, which is a helpful heuristic to keep in mind as time passes.