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The stakes are higher than ever with a Supreme Court vacancy officially in play. We’ve added two election-related questions that capture the Superforecasters’ views about voter turnout – which they expect to be high by US standards – and when a presidential campaign will concede defeat in the election (it’s not worth losing sleep in hopes of catching a concession speech on Election Night).
Several of our US politics forecasts shifted this week, reflecting rapid developments in light of Justice Ginsburg’s death.
And, more bad news about the AstraZeneca trial is just one factor leading the Superforecasters to become more pessimistic about the likelihood of wide distribution of an FDA-approved vaccine in the next two quarters.
We update our probability forecasts daily at 7am EDT, refresh commentary weekly, and launch new questions often.
It may come as a surprise that the Superforecasters see relatively little change as a result of Justice Ginsburg’s death. This comment is typical:
I think RBG news doesn’t change things much. Already polarized and engaged electorate stays so.
But, the Superforecasters are skeptical that promising poll results for the Biden campaign accurately reflect where the race currently stands:
The polls are probably not reliable right now. Why do I say this? Biden is only behind 4% in Alabama from a poll today [September 21st], up 4 in Texas. It would be a blow out if Biden won both of these states.
Biden’s fundraising lead appears insurmountable, at least as of our question-closing date of September 30th:
With RBG’s passing, this question flips on its head. Whereas I would have thought that GOP donors would have found a way to flood the coffers for POTUS, now that the Dems have something more “tangible” to fight for, money seems to be flowing in.
The Supreme Court vacancy looms large over the Senate contest:
The polls indicate a stronger chance for the Dems to take the senate than the same time last week, however, the passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg adds some uncertainty to the race.
The odds of a pre-election stimulus deal are falling rapidly, as this Superforecaster explains:
Probably less chance now as the Supreme Court nomination becomes the focus and creates more conflict.
If there is any silver lining for those who await further government funds, it could come in the last two months of 2020:
Upping [November/December 2020] slightly as there may be incentive to do a deal if enough incumbents are voted out and the economy tanks.
While Superforecasters continue to view the October 2020 through March 2021 interval as the single most likely outcome, the consensus take is to “reduce [the probability for this outcome] due to the Oxford [AstraZeneca] adverse events” and other new data about the ongoing clinical trials.
This Superforecaster outlines other reasons for pessimism:
Logistics for distributing and storing these vaccines on a large scale still concern me as does the potential impact of the upcoming election. Biden, if elected, may decide to proceed more cautiously.
The Superforecasters continue to see no reason for the FDA to accelerate full approval of any treatment, given Emergency and Compassionate Use options.
No change, not expecting a formal approval anytime soon when the FDA already has the tools they need.
How accurate are the Superforecasters? Review the scores for all closed COVID Recovery questions on our public scoreboard.
To date, five “reopening metrics” questions have closed, including this week’s closings for the German Bundesliga’s resumption of playing in front of live spectators and the New York City public school system’s resumption of in-person instruction for some students. The average Brier score for our aggregate Superforecasts over the five questions is an impressive 0.0951 on a 0 to 2 scale, where 0 represents perfect prescience.
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