Russian Elections Pundits Bet on Biden. (FWIW).

Now one common objection, often made by Trump supporters, is that the overwhelmingly pro-Democrat class of hacks and data analysts is biased and ignorant of sentiment in the “Real America” and this colors their judgment, as it purportedly did in 2016*.

Conversely, their liberal counterparts rejoinder that popular prediction markets, which are strongly out of sync with polls-based models, are inundated by delusional volumes of “MAGA money”.

So let’s try to do something original and look at the opinions of a group of pundits who, in net terms, don’t really have much of a dog in this fight: The broad Russian equivalents of Americans who read Nate Silver.

Perhaps the best place to look for that is amongst the commenters at Alexander Kireev’s blog, a Russian-American elections analyst who also maintains a large database of historical elections data and electoral maps from around the world. Although Kireev himself has (neo)liberal political values, including a strong distaste for Putin and a preference for centrist Democrats over populists from both the Left and Right, there is scant evidence that he lets partisan sympathies get in the way of his analysis. He is most often amongst the best or even the overall best in the election prediction competitions that he runs before many elections. (Indeed, my own contest was partly inspired by his).

In any case, we are going to be looking at aggregates here, so his audience are of more relevance anyway. Relative to their American elections-watching counterparts, they are not particularly biased against Trump: Some 47% are pro-Biden, while 35% are pro-Trump. This is actually more or less reflective of the American electorate as a whole, which according to 538’s summary as of the time of writing is 53% pro-Biden and 44% pro-Trump (even if Kireev’s crew are much less pro-Trump than the Russian normie, who to the extent he has an opinion favors Trump over Biden by a factor of 2:1 according to polls from Levada and IPSOS). Certainly they are much more “Trumpist” than, say, Nate Silver’s employees, whom I would guess are at least 90% pro-Biden.

However, as is already evident from the table above, they are nonetheless much more skeptical about Trump’s chances, with only 26% expecting him to win vs. 56% for Biden when that poll run on a couple of weeks ago.

It is worth noting that Kireev’s commentariat has a very good predictive record on elections, even if – like almost everyone – they underestimated Trump in 2016. Still, even that underestimation was very modest relative to American norms. In the 2016 predictions of the percentage vote tally**, their average prediction was 47.9% for HRC and 45.1% for Trump, or a difference of 2.8%. (I excluded one troll response giving HRC 0% and Trump 88%, which if included diminishes that gap to a mere 1.9%). For comparison, the 538 forecast back in 2016 projected 48.5% for HRC and 44.9% for Trump, or a difference of 3.6%. In the event, HRC got 48.2% and Trump got 46.1%, with the resulting difference of 2.1% being sufficient to roll out a win in the Electoral College. This means that Kireev’s commenters were substantially closer to the mark during the 2016 elections than 538.

So what are Kireev’s commenters saying today? They are still more positive about Trump than 538, but the good news for MAGA stops there. As of the time of writing, the 538 forecast projects 53.3% of the raw vote going to Biden and 45.5% going to Trump. That is a difference of 7.8% points, hence explaining Trump’s chances plummeting from about a third in 2016 to just a tenth now. Meanwhile, Kireev’s commenters – also, obviously, as of the time of writing – are projecting an average of 51.3% for Biden and 45.8% for Trump, or a gap of 5.5%. That is obviously much better than with 538, but still, the difference is twice as big as in 2016. Even a popular vote gap of 5.5% in favor of Biden translates into just a ~3% of Trump winning in the EC (see right). Even if they are wrong by 1% point – i.e., even more so than in 2016 – that only increases Trump’s chances to 30%.

Finally, while I am not going to waste time bothering to aggregate the state-specific predictions from Kireev’s competition, I will note that virtually all of the more notable individuals in that community are projecting a win for Biden.

(1) Kireev, who probably has the best predictive record of anybody else on his own site, gives Biden a narrow win with 273, with Biden losing PA but winning FL and AZ EDIT NOV 3: apologies, I mistakenly thought the example map he included in his contest post was his prediction; it isn’t, in his actual prediction which he posted just now, Kireev gives Biden 350 including NC, AZ, FL, and even Georgia. He also projects 53.01% for Biden and 44.92% for Trump in absolute percentages.

(2) Seva Bashirov, a very good ethnic/demographics mapper, gives Biden 270.

(3) pollotenchegg, a Ukrainian mapper of historical demographics who owns the datatowel website, gives Biden 312.

(4) vybory_91, probably the second most prominent Russian elections blogger after Kireev, gives Biden 290.

(5) The commenter putiny80percent, who has been very good at nailing Russian elections, gives Biden 334.

(6) Yours truly predicted a 269-269 tie there, but that’s largely a troll prediction, my actual prediction which I gave on this blog has Biden winning 279.

(7) barouh, a blogger and scientist who has published work on electoral fraud, gives Biden 334 398.

(8) alacsony was the champion (out of 97 people) of the raw scores predictions back in 2016, giving HRC 48.6% (real: 48.2%) and Trump 46.4% (real: 46.1%). He also got Trump winning the Presidency correct as well (though he only had Trump winning by a marginal 270 versus his actual result of 304). Still, very impressive, especially considering that Trump clinched three big states only by a very narrow (<1%) margin. But this time round, he is projecting 280 for Biden (see map right).

EDIT Nov 3, 6am Moscow:

Seva Bashirov (see above) has done the work of compiling a “consensus map” of predictions from the first 42 participants in the states-level competition. Here it is:

With a few hours to go until Kireev’s competition closes, raw percentage projections are 51.34% for Biden and 45.69% for Trump.

  • This was certainly true of some people and institutions, e.g. Huffington Post’s infamous 98% chance that HRC would win. On the other hand, 538 assigning Trump a 29% chance in 2016 was actually very reasonable even in hindsight, considering the <1% margins by which he won Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.

** Although Kireev inconveniently lists predictions in the form of a table in a jpg file, happily there is now free-source OCR software that can convert it into Excel files.

Anatoly Karlin is a transhumanist interested in psychometrics, life extension, UBI, crypto/network states, X risks, and ushering in the Biosingularity.


Inventor of Idiot’s Limbo, the Katechon Hypothesis, and Elite Human Capital.


Apart from writing booksreviewstravel writing, and sundry blogging, I Tweet at @powerfultakes and run a Substack newsletter.


  1. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

    Commenting rules. Please note that anonymous comments are not allowed.

  2. I, for one, welcome our new mulatta-Indian overlords!

    Obviously, it would be superfluous for any Watson-style-AI bot to waste milliseconds searching through my commenting history, which is filled wall-to-wall, with praise for miscegenated Indian leadership generally (like Varadkar), and, in particular, for Bantu combinations (like Kamala and the Siddi.) A pity that she isn’t a lesbo, as Varadkar is gay – but that is my only criticism.

  3. So, Russian elections pundits bet on the US hitting a new low. Shows that Russians have very low opinion of Americans. Maybe it’s justified, maybe not. We’ll see soon enough.

    The US had morons for presidents, as well as disgusting sleazeballs and pathetic nonentities. But electing corrupt senile walking dead would be a new low.

  4. We might get that thing, supported by 2% of Dems (i.e., fewer than 1% of the population) if senile walking dead is elected, then croaks before inauguration or soon after. As to whether that thing is a lesbo, I’d address this question to Willi Brown.

    If you look optimistically, we might still escape this disgrace, maybe by the skin of our teeth.

  5. …electing corrupt senile walking dead would be a new low.

    Well, they came very close in 2016 and 2008 with the Clinton-witch and McCain. It is bound to happen one day. Maybe it’s better to just get it over with. This could be a Yeltsin moment.

    Regarding the predictions, events with 26% probability happen all the time. But maybe it’s really not that important: two old men with basically same liberal views but different temperaments, it feels like a distraction.

    Lots of distractions this year, something must be cooking behind the scenes. I doubt they know what they are doing. Pumping up the fear (incl. with corona) is a good way to prepare for chaos. Fear and chaos always go together.

  6. I’ve yet to see an Indian woman worth her salt. Supposedly, Nikki Haley is good, but I smell enough neocon on her that I’m at best dubious. What is it with the curry bitches that makes them so anathema to western civilization?

  7. Nah.
    Russians, bless their hearts, can never understand the American soul.
    Perhaps that adaptation to survive the Mongol invasions, or maybe the blessing of unity bestowed upon them by Orthodoxy: either way, the Russian spirit was always primed to act as one, so whether it be sobornost or communism, the seed of pulling together in a unified dictatorship was always a part of the national character.
    Not so with America, which was created by refugees fleeing religious persecution. The spirit of independence and the attachment to self reliance that was formed in wresting the lands from the savages and bring them to Christianity will not be bowed to the takeover by the jews and financeers.
    America is going to react in might against the violent democrat thugs just like it did in ’68. America doesn’t want what they are selling.

  8. prime noticer says

    Joe Biden will be elected tomorrow.

    which is bad news for Russia. since he’ll probably start a direct conflict with Russian forces somewhere on the globe, within the first year or two.

    and it doesn’t matter if Harris is actually in control. all these people want the same thing. direct conflict with Russia.

  9. anonymous coward says

    Kireev is a rabid, insane wokester SJW.

    Might as well ask Masha Gessen’s opinion.

  10. AnonFromTN says

    Joe Biden will be elected tomorrow.

    Senile Joe might be elected, but it won’t be tomorrow. Considering where we stand, there will be numerous court challenges, and the election will be ultimately decided by the Supreme court, maybe in a week, maybe in a month. Meanwhile, regardless of the results, low-level skirmishes, likely involving shootouts, will break out in quite a few cities.

  11. How about betting on an increasing number of lost Kornets and Iglas turning up in the US?

  12. Julia Ioffe looks like Tina Maze.

  13. …which is bad news for Russia. since he’ll probably start a direct conflict

    Wouldn’t that be bad news for everyone? What has kept a direct conflict from starting is the fear of possible nuclear escalation. What happens is much more driven by realities on the ground than by personalities.

    What we would get is more economic and financial pressure, armies parading on Russia’s borders and ‘no meetings‘. Wait, isn’t that kind of like the last 4 years? Maybe they will get Kiev to attack, but how is that a winning strategy?

  14. Kent Nationalist says

    Conversely, liberal counterparts rejoinder that popular prediction markets, which are strongly out of sync with polls-based models, are inundated by delusional volumes of “MAGA money”.–_4Y4w

  15. …What is it with the curry bitches that makes them so anathema to western civilization?

    They hate white people, always have. Because of who they are, they can’t accept that reality. It eats them on the inside, so tantalisingly close, almost like Europeans, but not quite. It leads to hysteria and urge to lash out. If they ever have the power over us the malice will rule…

  16. Kent Nationalist says

    Jealousy that white men prefer white women

  17. Anatoly, Hypermind are not superforecasters. Superforecasters are here and they are at 86% for Biden:

  18. E. Harding says

    Just so everyone knows, the New York Times will be doing the needle on election night for Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina. I expect Biden to win all three; if he is losing any one of the three, his campaign is in trouble. There will be no national needle, but none is necessary.

  19. One of the ways that neo-colonialism is worse than traditional colonialism is that it involves women on a deeper level.

  20. Inner party politics is one of the banes of Western civilization. I think diversity really exacerbates it, because it reduces the pool and thus the quality of the candidates, even as party loyalty assures them of support.

  21. GazaPlanet says

    If you believe the “final vote tallies.” The New York Times was solidly predicting a Trump win the night of the election, the “razor thin margins” and the run up of late votes from states like California seem like artifacts of America’s institutionalized vote fraud.

  22. E. Harding says

    Hurriedly making forecasts on just before the deadline closes.

  23. Joe Biden will be elected tomorrow. … which is bad news for Russia.

    Really? Firstly, Biden is just a figurehead, and probably only a temporary one. Secondly, the Uniparty ascendency and permanent rule over the US will be very good news for Russia.

    “Transitioning” away from the oil & gas industry? Good luck with that “bottom surgery” cutting the balls off the US economy. Shutting down oil & gas pipelines to placate spoiled brat children of privilege on the coasts? Do people have any idea what they are talking about? Try running a modern economy without oil & gas. You will coast on pre-existing energy infrastructure for a few years, and then your economy will grind to a halt rather quickly.

    Then suppose sometime over the next few years a major volcano erupts in Indonesia and blankets the world’s atmosphere with ash for weeks or months. Impossible you say? Yeah, sure, just like COVID-19 was impossible. “Hello, Russia, do you have any oil and gas to spare, please? All our baby boomer petroleum engineers are dead, and besides, our 23-member Supreme Court has ruled that our constitution forbids oil & gas exploration or use. But . . . our harvests have failed and we are starving and freezing to death. Please, Russia, please save us from our own insanity”.

  24. E. Harding says

    Also, glad to see I am agreed with Kireev on the 350-188 map (the same as YouGov’s forecast:


    The Georgia reasoning is actually very simple. The state went from this:

    to this

    in just two years, and that’s with much stronger Republican rural support, already at over 90% among Whites even in 2016, and not something that can just be taken for granted in 2020. Imagine what two more years of Trump have done to it, especially given polling evidence that college Whites are the new Hispanics.

  25. E. Harding says

    We also have our first known election results (from tiny New Hampshire towns):

  26. I would expect Biden to receive the same treatment from Republicans that Trump received from Democrats. The Russia hoax will fall over like a lead balloon and Republicans will accuse him of trying to distract from his son’s deals in Kweef.

  27. Supply and Demand says

    white men prefer asian women. White women are just the most available.

    If 90% of immigrants were cute Japanese girls with a gaijin fetish, white women would be overwhelmingly MAGA.

  28. prime noticer says

    “What we would get is more economic and financial pressure, armies parading on Russia’s borders and ‘no meetings‘. Wait, isn’t that kind of like the last 4 years? Maybe they will get Kiev to attack, but how is that a winning strategy?”

    what you will get is a No Fly Zone in Syria. or something along those lines. so, not like the last 4 years.

    after Biden is elected, it’s only a matter of time until US troops fire on Russian troops in some middle of nowhere country.

  29. Philip Owen says

    I stick by my prediction yesterday. Texas for Biden; which is to say that Trump gets crushed. Which is a pity because he still wants to be the peace candidate.

  30. AnonFromTN says

    after Biden is elected, it’s only a matter of time until US troops fire on Russian troops in some middle of nowhere country.

    You overestimate the stupidity of the US military. The commanders might be dumb, but they are not that dumb. The US never attacks an enemy who can inflict serious damage (hence restrained with NK and Iran), let alone crush the imperial military (remember, diversity is its strength, which, translated into plain English, means that its incapable of any serious fight). The same applies to no-fly zone in Syria: an attempt to establish it would make Syria a no-fly zone for the Empire and its vassals.