On October 19, GU Politics hosted Josh Mendelsohn of Hawkfish, Scott Tranter of 0ptimus Analytics, and Jessica Taylor of The Cook Political Report for a conversation about possible outcomes for the 2020 election. This discussion was moderated by GU Politics Executive Director Mo Elleithee.
Scott Tranter spoke to the many types of data political forecasters use to predict election results, from absentee ballots, to public polling, to private polling and FEC reports. He noted that despite all the data that is available, forecasters must keep an open mind and prepare for uncertain outcomes. Josh Mendelsohn compared the way forecasters use data to understand voters to the way e-commerce companies use data to target advertisements. With regard to Presidential election results, Jessica Taylor noted that Senate and House races called prior to the presidential result will likely give insight into which way the state will lean.
The panel concluded with the guests outlining what viewers should look for on election night to predict which candidate will win. Taylor said the data from modelers is often accurate and quickly reported, and is a good resource for analyzing the election. Josh Mendelsohn agreed and hopes the media recognizes the gravity of this election and acts responsibly in disseminating data and calling races.