The Needle Goes Away As Probability Experts Assess 2020 Race

FILE - In this May 28, 2015, file photo Nate Silver, founder of and best selling author of "The Signal and the Noise," gives his keynote address during the Mackinac Policy Conference at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich. (Tanya Moutzalias/The Ann Arbor Detroit via AP, File)

(AP) — Probability estimates for the 2020 U.S. presidential election are still being made, but one fixture of the 2016 cycle won’t make a return. The New York Times won’t use its Needle graphic on Election Day. Probability experts such as 538’s Nate Silver and the Times’ Nate Cohn still place a high likelihood on Donald Trump losing the election, just as they did in 2016. Silver and others say they’re trying to do a better job at explaining why a high probability score doesn’t mean 100% chance that Democrat Joe Biden will win. The experts who synthesize poll information are now looking for the best way to explain to readers their findings.


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