From “The Presidential Race at the Dawn of a New Year” by Kyle Kondik at Sabato’s Crystal Ball:
— Despite bad polling and clear weaknesses for President Biden, we are sticking with our initial Electoral College ratings from the summer, which show him doing better than what polls today would indicate, even as there are enough Toss-up electoral votes to make the election anyone’s game.
— We still anticipate a close and competitive election between Biden and former President Trump, whose dominance in the GOP primary race has endured as the Iowa caucus looms.
Kondik concludes, “Readers sometimes ask us if we have a set schedule for updating ratings. We do not—we make updates when we believe that they are warranted, although we also don’t want to be changing ratings willy nilly throughout the election season: The ratings are designed to be a best guess projection of November, not a measurement of where things may stand now. An “if the election was held today” assessment is pointless, because, well, we know that the election is set for November, not for today or tomorrow. Thus far we haven’t been compelled to change our initial Electoral College ratings, although we of course have taken note of Biden’s poor current polling. It will be harder to downplay the numbers if they persist, particularly even as Trump becomes more prominent because of the primary season and other factors.”