Oct 2, 2020

4 min read

Freakopsephology Predicts a Biden Win and a Blue Tsunami

What the hell is #Freakopsephology anyway?

Addendum: I wrote and published this article several hours before it was announced that Trump has been found to be COVID-19 positive.

I took a long ride through the countryside in my state last weekend. Though the purpose was to enjoy the great weather and the wonderful bucolic landscapes, I also paid attention to the yard signs. Nearly every sign for the presidential election I saw was for Trump. Biden signs were practically invisible.

I wondered what could be the explanation of this unexpected finding. Then I realized, in a contrast with 2016, yard-signs are fewer. This time, in the rural regions, it is the Biden voters who are keeping quiet, not willing to put their resentment for Trump on display.

It was time for me to pull out the principles of freakopsephology to comprehensively assess the landscape and to make some predictions.

Freakopsephology is a “pseudo-science” that depends on non-polling data, specifically, observations of the behavior of the people vocal about, or directly involved in, ground-level politics since they are the ones who are in close contact with the voters.

These people, politicians, and ordinary citizens may say one thing, but their behavior is a dead giveaway of how they actually read the landscape.

I had earlier defined it thus:

The accuracy of freakopsephology is “well-established”. It did better than the predictions of the prominent psephologists and twitter pundits in the 2019 Indian general elections by correctly predicting 300+ seats for Modi et al. And subsequently, that AAP would sweep the Delhi elections.

Here are a few tweets I had posted, predicting Modi’s win and the number of seats he will get.

According to freakopsephology, in the 2020 US presidential election, Biden is winning. Also, Democrats are winning most of the Senate and House races. It’s a blue tsunami. I list the reasons for these predictions below:

  1. Biden campaign shared that it raised $3.8M in one hour during the debate. The highest amount ever raised by a candidate in an hour by any campaign. In 24 hours, they added 10K new donors and 60k volunteers. They have raised a stunning half a billion dollars in the last few weeks. Remember, voting costs less. This means every donor is a committed vote.
  2. The Trump campaign has mostly remained silent. Their coffers are no match for Biden’s. In fact, several Republicans, including Lindsey Graham, one of the most influential Republican leaders, have been begging for donations every chance they get.
  3. The side that constantly casts doubts on the electoral system has seen defeat staring in its face. Trump has constantly been attacking the voting systems, in general, and mail-in ballots, specifically.
  4. The side that urges voters to come out and vote (without specifying who to vote for) knows it is winning. Biden’s campaign is organizing the biggest get out to vote effort ever mounted. Every voter, each day, receives a few mailers, urging them to vote.
  5. Early voting has been off the charts. This points to an unprecedented surge in voting, which usually indicates a Democratic advantage. In 2016, most Democratic Party supporters were so assured of Hillary’s win that they didn’t think their vote was required. They have been suitably chastised and disabused now.
  6. Trump supporters gather at polling stations shouting slogans, waving flags, trying to intimidate the early voters.
  7. Republicans are spending record amounts of money for senate seats in states that are traditionally considered absolutely safe for them.
  8. Trump is preparing to unleash chaos. He has issued a call to “Proud Boys,” aka reincarnated white supremacists groups like KKK (BTW, I am buying guns for the first time in my life).

Bottom line

Any field claiming to be science or pseudoscience has to make specific predictions. It must then be judged by how accurate the predictions turn out. Which enjoins me to make some very specific predictions.

Here is the methodology followed.

The “miracle” referred to in the above cartoon is the sublimation of all the diverse facts and impressions into numbers. Some call the process gut-based surmising.

So here are the predictions:

  • Biden is winning 52% ±3% of popular votes.
  • Biden is winning 300+ electoral college votes.
  • The house and senate are both turning blue.

I hear the death knell of the Republican Party. The picnic is over. The flame has flickered bright for the last time.

Postscript: If my predictions come out to be true, you must agree that freakopsephology deserves the same respect as the field of economics.

And if my predictions prove to be false, you must agree that freakopsephology deserves the same respect as the field of economics.