In a sobering analysis for the Democratic Party, veteran polling analyst Nate Silver has poured cold water on their hopes for the 2024 presidential election. Silver, who has made a name for himself through his data-driven election forecasts, recently launched his new model on his website and the results are less than encouraging for President Joe Biden and his supporters.

“It was certainly a close race, but we’d reached the point where it would be dishonest to call it a toss-up,” Silver stated during a recent conference in Berkeley, California. His model currently suggests that former President Donald Trump holds a slight but significant edge over Biden in the upcoming election. “Trump had a 55 to 60 percent chance of prevailing,” Silver estimated, which marks a troubling sign for the Democrats.

Silver’s model indicates that Trump is favored to win by a slightly larger margin than initially anticipated. Despite Biden’s viable paths to victory, Silver says that the election landscape does not favor him as much as it did in 2020. “When the model was finally done on Sunday night, it turned out that Trump was favored by a slightly larger degree than I’d anticipated,” he wrote in his latest analysis.

One of the key reasons for this projection is Biden’s dwindling approval ratings, which are among the lowest of any incumbent running for re-election since World War II. “Biden has the lowest approval ratings of anyone running for re-election since either George H.W. Bush or Jimmy Carter, depending on how you squint at the numbers,” Silver pointed out. This factor alone casts a long shadow over his re-election prospects.

Silver’s model accounts for the significant polling deficits Biden faces in crucial swing states like Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada. “Biden trails badly in each,” Silver noted. “He’ll need to win all three of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania and not just one of them.” The uphill battle in the Rust Belt, combined with shaky leads in traditionally blue states, puts Biden in a precarious position.


Silver also addressed the role of economic factors in his model. Despite some recovery in economic indicators, the overall picture is not as rosy as the Biden administration might hope. “The economy isn’t all that good. Real GDP grew by 2.5 percent last year, following 1.9 percent in 2022,” Silver explained. He also pointed to the persistent voter concerns about inflation and real take-home incomes, which have struggled to keep up with rising costs.

In addition to economic challenges, Biden’s age and the global mood of pessimism further complicate his re-election bid. “There’s Biden’s age, which voters have extremely persistent concerns about,” Silver said. While some might argue for adjustments based on Trump’s legal troubles and convictions, Silver remains cautious. “You could also argue for subjective adjustments that go the other way, like for Trump’s criminal convictions. I just don’t think it’s so obvious that there are strong gravitational forces pulling Biden up,” he wrote.

Silver’s pragmatic and data-driven approach leaves little room for Democratic optimism. His model, which blends polling data with fundamental factors such as incumbency and the economy, projects a tough road ahead for Biden. “The fundamentals currently account for about 30 percent of the forecast, as compared to 70 percent for the polls, and this will gradually fade to zero by Election Day,” Silver noted.

With Trump holding a slight edge and Biden facing numerous challenges, the 2024 presidential election is shaping up to be anything but a toss-up.