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Americans Awake to Unsettled Presidential Election

It'll likely take a few days to declare a winner.
(chrisdorney)
(chrisdorney)
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“As vote counting continues in a few battleground states, strong potential for legal action hangs over the race,” WSJ writes. Here are the key things to watch for:

Current Electoral Vote Count:

  • Joe Biden: 238
  • Donald Trump: 213

Battleground States:

  • Where Biden is leading: Michigan, Nevada, Wisconsin
  • Where Trump is ahead: Georgia, North Carolina, Alaska and Pennsylvania

Was it supposed to be this close? Short answer, no. Biden held a wide lead in the national polls, even where battleground states were tighter. 

With the board set as it is, Biden has 14 ways to win compared to Trump’s nine. Trump looks to be firmly ahead in Georgia and North Carolina, as 94% of the votes have been reported in those states. But close races in Michigan and Pennsylvania create a path to Biden’s 270.

  • A Biden victory depends heavily on maintaining slim leads in Wisconsin and Nevada.
  • Trump scored Ohio, Iowa, Texas and Florida. Although, Biden did flip Arizona blue for the first time since 1996.

What about the Senate and the House? The latest numbers have the Senate tied at 47 seats each part and Democrats lead Republicans in the House 189-181.

Looking Ahead: It might be a little while before we have a winner. As of 3 a.m., Pennsylvania said it still had more than one million mail ballots to count. Wisconsin and Michigan said unofficial results could come Wednesday, while Georgia most likely will spend the day counting. Nevada said it wouldn’t release results until Thursday. The likelihood of legal action threatens to drag things out even further.

Justin Oh:

The pollsters tricked us again, didn’t they? They predicted a landslide Biden victory, and it’s an extremely close race. As of this morning, it looks like Trump needs to win Michigan or Wisconsin to win the election, two states he is slightly losing in. 

This election will come down to the wire and is a great example of why we can’t always trust “experts” and their “data.” The world is full of outliers, surprises, and “black swan events.” When I worked in hedge funds, we would try to gather proprietary data and perform extensive research by traveling and calling destinations (called “channel checks”) to verify our conclusions.

With almost everything important in life, we should do our own research to verify what “experts” tell us and make our own informed decisions. That includes my analysis as well – even though I am an “expert” in corporate valuation, I can only be “right” a certain (majority) percentage of time given my data sources and time constraints. Constant feedback, debate, and conversation within our Cents and ROIC community will be critical to guide us to the right answers for our portfolios.

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