FiveThirtyEight’s newly launched 2020 primary forecast gives Joe Biden the best odds right now, with a 2 in 5 chance (42%) of winning a majority of pledged delegates. But the race is wide open: it’s about equally likely that Biden wins as not. Bernie Sanders has a 1 in 5 chance (22%), followed by Elizabeth Warren at 1 in 8 (12%) and Pete Buttigieg at 1 in 10 (9%). The rest of the field, combined, has only a 1 in 50 chance of pulling off what would be a stunning upset.
The FiveThirtyEight model produces probabilistic forecasts, as opposed to hard-and-fast predictions about who will win or lose. Those probabilities are meant to capture the real-world uncertainty inherent in a primary race, which are far less predictable than general election campaigns. In the same sense a weather forecaster might tell you there’s a 30 percent chance of rain tomorrow, the FiveThirtyEight model estimates the chances of each candidate winning.
FiveThirtyEight, a data-driven news site founded by Nate Silver in 2008, joined ABC News in 2018.