Possible Election 2020 Maps, Ranked

8. What the actual fuck?!

Electoral tally: Trump 310-228

NYT Headline: “Despite Controversies, Trump Wins Big Again”

What it takes: Direct Russian help? This is by far the least likely map on here, with all the polls being totally wrong over the past year, basically. 

Odds: 50/1. This is deeply unlikely, but it’s 2020 so I’m conditioned to assume this is possible.

7. Getting hit by a bus

Odds: 100/1. Lower if I walk into traffic willingly.

6. The Schmozz

Electoral tally: Supreme Court, 5-4

NYT Headline: “Controversial Election Decided By Impartial Court”

What it takes: New Justice Amy Coney Barrett, two sexual abusers, a corporate dolt and worst of all, Alito, grant the presidency to Donald Trump despite clear evidence that the vote didn’t go his way. Democrats call for hearings while Nancy Pelosi says she’s considering further steps such as “more hearings” and “a strongly worded statement.” Former Sen. Susan Collins admits she’s concerned. 

Odds: 25/1. The only reason this isn’t higher is that Republicans prefer to crush democracy with a little more plausible deniability, and polling suggests this one might be a reach to steal.

5. He does it again!

Electoral tally: Trump 289-249

NYT Headline: “Trump Wins Big, May Soften Tone In Second Term”

What it takes: The polls have to be all wrong in the same direction and there be a huge “Shy Trump” vote, something damning needs to come out about Biden immediately, several close states neglect to open half their polling places in cities, absentee ballot chaos reigns in few places. It’s all possible, but pretty unlikely. This map also suggests another popular vote loss.

Odds: 10/1. He’s not out but he’s gonna need a lot to happen to save him at this point.

4. Turns out people really hated Hillary, huh?

Electoral tally: Biden 279-259

NYT Headline: “Biden Claims Controversial, Narrow Victory Over Trump”

What it would take: Not much, actually. This is almost exactly the “this is what everyone expected in 2016” map. The more I have watched 2020, the more I realize that Biden would have beaten Trump quite handily in 2016 and a lot of what happened that year was just pent-up hatred for Hillary. There are reasons to dislike Hillary Clinton, but also I’m thinking of a word, starts with “m” ends with “isogyny” that may have played a small role in things.

Odds: 6/1; this would actually be a surprising outcome in the sense that it would mean the polls missed by a lot again, but after 2016 I don’t believe in good things.

3. The polls are mostly accurate

Electoral tally: Biden 319-219

NYT Headline: “Biden Narrowly Defeats Trump”

What it would take: Biden wins everything he’s +4 in right now, including Arizona and Florida. That means a miss in NC, but despite what the NYT headline is selling here, this is a pretty convincing win and would take (I’m estimating) around a +6 or +7 national vote win to get here … which seems extremely in play and has for months.

Odds: 5/1; we’re in range of the most probable landing points.

2. Deadly accurate polls

Electoral tally: Biden 356-182

NYT Headline: “Biden Narrowly Defeats Trump”

What it takes: As stated, the polls are correct with a little of the current trend holding through Nov. 3. This also presumes no to little vote manipulation and suppression beyond what’s already happening and that there are no post-vote electoral shenanigans.

Odds: 8/1. Honestly, this is pretty in play right now.

1. Blue Fucking Wave

Electoral tally: Biden 413-122

NYT Headline: “Biden Narrowly Defeats Trump”

What it takes: A total repudiation of Trump and the Republicans, which means the biggest “Biden’s leading nationally” polls are both correct but are also the leading edge of a broader trend toward him on Election Day. This map potentially resets the Republican Party; if Texas actually goes blue, get mentally prepared to hear how terrible it is how all those millions of Republicans in California and New York don’t have a voice in the unfair, the very unfair Electoral College.  

Odds: 12/1. This is not an outrageous outcome by any means; Biden is closer in places like Georgia, Iowa and Texas than Trump is in Michigan or Pennsylvania. But again, I’m not … totally convinced.

About Clever Name Here dba "Black Rod" 96 Articles
Vell, Clever Name Here just zis guy, you know? Sometimes funny. Often annoyed. Once I saw a blimp.


  1. Thanks for putting this together. I’m trying to steel myself for the worst possible outcome but it’s hard not to feel hopeful as the past 7 months (?!!) have truly impressed upon the country what a worthless idiotic asshole the president is. I think I’m most concerned about what happens when he refuses to acknowledge a loss, but I genuinely think it’s been made clear what a mistake it was to let someone so unqualified hold the top office, and that people will turn out to voice their displeasure.

    • 2016 is sort of like the electric fence, isn’t it? By all rights Trump should be (and very well may be) drawing dead right now but after the last time out I don’t feel like I can go any further in believing in good things without getting zapped.

      I think he’s gonna be Big Mad about the outcome until 1/20 when he realizes his dream of becoming actually rich by taking over right-wing media until he dies of post-covid heart trouble.

  2. I think 4 and 5 are the most likely outcomes, in that order.  Mostly because ain’t no fucking way AZ goes blue, much less TX.  That was the same pipe dream crap that Hillary went after instead of campaigning in places where she actually had a chance.  I don’t trust the polling, mostly because there are a bunch of embarrassed Trump voters out there who aren’t willing to openly admit that they’re pulling the lever for that shitstain again.  That’s where most of your theoretical “undecideds” are coming from.

    Plus, there’s all the voter intimidation/suppression/cheating that you know will absolutely be taking place.

    • I have to disagree a little on AZ — I think he and Kelly are both going to win there and the state is definitely trending purple if not already there. McSally was beaten by an openly bisexual Democrat, and while Sinema isn’t gonna be a Green New Dealer or anything, it certainly suggests the state isn’t a hot-red conservative bastion now.

      • …so…celebrity deathmatch 2020?

        …I figure Joe might have the disadvantage in weight terms but it’s not like they’re those kinds of contenders so I think that might be in his favor…he’s at least exercised once or twice

        …hell, think of what could be done with the pay-per-view fees…how much was that green new deal thing, again?

  3. I absolutely loathe the “New York Times.” I used to read it cover to cover, it was my Bible, and then 1992 happened. The way they covered Jerry Brown during the primaries was atrocious. I lost friends over this. I used to say, “Would you rather have lived in Bill Clinton’s Arkansas in the 1980s or Jerry Brown’s California in the 1970s?”
    Still I kept up with it as it went more and more upscale neo-liberal and moved further away from even pretending to cover NYC in any meaningful way. I have nothing against Hillary Clinton, but when she helicoptered in and ran for Senate in 2000 she was pretty much sanctified by the Times and it got to be a little much. 
    Their coverage of 9/11 was exemplary and it brought me back. But then the 21st century got into full swing, broadband home internet became more common, the Times was beset by multiple scandals, and I just gave up. Judith Miller, Jayson Blair…why not just read The Weekly World News? Oh, I know, because the Weekly World News wouldn’t tell me about Josh and Becca’s move to a little-known enclave called Williamsburg where one of them, surely a college friend of the reporter, was custom-crafting eco-friendly dog collars while the other owned a hip, stylish speakeasy serving signature cocktails with names like “The Bronx Bomber” and “The A Train.” 
    Sorry, I’m in a very cranky mood today. I’ll close with this. Once I gave up on the Times I started reading The Washington Post. My pals asked why. “Because everyone in Washington lives among each other so I think they know what’s going on. Maureen Dowd has lived there for something like six decades and her stuff in the Times is like bad Catskills shtick. I don’t care what they say about DC itself, for all I know some restaurant down there IS the best place in the country to get macaroni and cheese with Bac-O-Bits.” 

  4. I’m still amazed that people think that “Shy Trump” voters are a thing. I mean, there are some to be sure, but most Trumpers I know are extremely vocal about it. The more interesting phenomenon to me is the ones that have just gone dark. I think many are switching to Biden, but don’t want to say it because they were such obvious assholes the first time and don’t want to own their stupidity. My neighbor across the road has conspicuously not posted a Trump sign. The handful of Trump signs that are posted are ridiculously ostentatious, like 4 ft x 6 ft plywood billboards, and there are only a few of those. 
    I do find it stunning how much vitriol Hillary still generates, and I wish that she hadn’t run in 2016. I know some liberal idiots who “couldn’t bring themselves” to vote for her and still refuse to believe that they’re partially responsible for Trump. They never have a clear rationale, and honestly, it’s a) misogyny and b) that they absorbed the constant drumbeat of Republican criticism, even though they should know better.  I just hope we are done with Clintons and Bushes and political dynasties. 

    • I think it depends on which states those non-Hillary liberal voters lived though.  If it was anywhere in the rust belt, then sure they had something to do with it.  But, I live in a state that every Democratic nominee has taken by double digits since 1988, so I feel zero guilt over not voting for her.  Plus, she was a Republican-lite liar, who lied about lying when called out on it.  She felt entitled, not just to the nomination, but to the Presidency, so she didn’t ever do what she needed to do to win the election–and in the cases of WI and MI, she openly defied the warnings of former Sanders staffers that she was going to lose those states if she didn’t get out of AZ and TX and head up there.  Anyone can feel free to call this Warren-voter a mysogynist if they please–but the reality is that it’s actually perfectly fine not to vote for a candidate for the simple reason that you agree with almost none of what they stand for.  I’m just glad that she’s had the good sense to stay the hell home this year.  We don’t need her brand of help.

      • Fair. And I can see why you did that. But … I live in Florida, where a single goddamn hanging chad makes all the difference. And, regardless of Hillary’s shortcomings, I truly do not believe she would have been out on the golf course when over 200,000 people were dying. If nothing else, she’s smart enough to realize that letting people die is not in her best interest. 

        • …I guess if there were a margin that made me certain it wouldn’t make a difference I could see an argument for going a different way & all…& I’m sure it wouldn’t have been all that hard to find fault with a hypothetical president hillary, come to that

          …although of course we would have been scoring on the old scale since we wouldn’t have had this newly-lowered bar to make her look that much better by contrast…still, if I’m honest it does remain extremely difficult to wrap my head around the folks in places the Dems didn’t have in the bag in ’16 for whom the distaste for her outweighed their distaste for the alternative her defeat inflicted since I’d tend to argue that contrast was present back then, too…it may not have been in the political sphere but it’s not like her opponent didn’t have plenty of form to judge him on

          …I follow butcher’s logic & I’m not giving it the side-eye or anything but if I found myself waking up in a state that went for the other guy & I’d voted for anyone else I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be done beating myself up about it

          …I don’t exactly think Joe is all that…but I’m cynical enough that I can’t help seeing it as a binary choice so “voting my conscience” isn’t a complex equation to solve despite it still not producing the sort of result I’d honestly like to see, all other things being equal

          …I guess it comes down to how entirely not equal all the other things be?

        • Also fair.  She wouldn’t have just sat by and let all those people die without at least trying to find ways to mitigate the disaster.  If I was still living in WI in 2016 I would have held my nose, voted for her, then gone home and taken a shower–but I would have voted for her.
          Bonus Round:  I also didn’t vote for Joe this year because my vote isn’t to be taken for granted the way the DNC and the corporate media seem to think it is.  If he wins–and if he actually follows through on the rhetoric about “needing” voters like me to support him, then I’ll rethink my choices in 2024.

          • I didn’t vote for Biden in the primary, either. Voted for Warren. But I’ll vote for Biden in the election — because if somehow Trump wins, more people die. I’m not one of the people who will die. I’m a middle-aged middle-class white guy with killer health insurance. I mean, it’s fucking AWESOME. But other people will absolutely die if that orange fuckshit wins. And Florida is too big and contested for me to vote my conscience now. Or, actually, I guess I am voting my conscience, because it’s telling me to not let people die. 

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