Final Trump Biden prediction: a surprise win?

The polls close this evening, so many are making their final prediction in the Donald Trump / Joe Biden election. While most have been predicting a Biden win, we’re starting to see more and more people predict that Trump will pull out a surprise win in the eleventh hour.

Get The Full Seth Klarman Series in PDF

Get the entire 10-part series on Seth Klarman in PDF. Save it to your desktop, read it on your tablet, or email to your colleagues.

Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more

Making a final Trump / Biden prediction

The problem with making a final Trump / Biden prediction is that several factors complicate this issue even more than the 2016 election, in which Trump lost the popular vote but won the electoral college. The first issue is a dramatic increase in mail-in voting due to COVID-19. While most people who mailed in their ballots are believed to have voted for Biden, it's unclear how many of those ballots will be thrown out due to possible voter fraud.

Michael Zimmerman’s Prentice Capital is having a strong year

business manPrentice Capital was up 15.3% net last month, bringing its year-to-date gain to 49.4% net. Prentice touted its ability to preserve capital during market downturns like the first quarter of this year and the fourth quarter of 2018. Q3 2020 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Background of Prentice Capital The fund utilizes a low Read More


The other problem is so-called "shy" Trump voters who won't admit publicly that they voted for the president. The polls ended up being wrong last year, so it's possible that this year will bring a repeat of that.

What others are saying about their final Trump / Biden predictions

One of the final predictions for a Trump upset against Biden comes from Harry Hurley of WPG Talk Radio in New Jersey, which is traditionally a blue state. He predicts that Biden will win the popular vote, but Trump will win the electoral college.

He explained that there are 14 battleground states but believes only eight of them really matter, which are Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada and North Carolina. Hurley believes Trump will win all eight states, but some or most will be very close. He sees Biden receiving 252 electoral votes to Trump's 286 votes if Trump wins Nevada. If Trump loses Nevada but wins the other seven states, the electoral college vote would be 280 for Trump and 258 for Biden.

Politico spoke to the campaign managers of four of the Republican Party's 2016 presidential primary. Tim Alberta of Politico predicts that Biden will win with 309 electoral votes. Marco Rubio's campaign manager, Terry Sullivan, has been saying for more than a year (even before he was the Democratic candidate) that Biden would win the 2020 election. He's now calling for a strong Biden win with 374 electoral votes.

Ted Cruz's campaign manager, Jeff Roe, predicts that Trump will win with 278 electoral votes. Danny Diaz, campaign manager for Jeb Bush, predicts Trump will win with 278 electoral votes. John Kasich's campaign manager, Beth Hansen, predicts a blue wave with Biden taking the presidency with 278 votes and Democrats taking both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Quick rundown of the swing states

Now let's take a look at the swing states for a final Trump / Biden prediction. If Trump does pull out a surprise win, it will be because of the swing states. Many polls show that in the swing states where Biden is leading Trump, his lead is very slim and certainly within the margin of error.

For example, PredictIt shows Trump ahead of Biden now in North Carolina, but 24 hours ago, it indicated that Biden was ahead by 2.1 points. PredictIt also suggests Trump could take Georgia, although most polls point to a Biden lead. Florida is another important swing state, with some sources suggesting that if Trump loses it, he will lose the election. PredictIt shows Trump will ahead in Florida.

The other states that are expected to decide the election are Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona and Pennsylvania, according to Politico. PredictIt shows conflicting numbers which suggests Trump could win. For example, the margin of victory suggests Trump will win in Arizona, but the question about which party will win the state points to Biden with a very slight lead over Trump.

The site suggests Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin will go to Biden, while Trump will take Arizona. If that happens, it would seem unlikely that Trump would win. For now, we'll just have to wait and see what this evening holds and whether the results of the election end up being contested.