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Pennsylvania Sanity Check

Suppose that Barack Obama were to concede Pennsylvania’s electoral votes. Literally, concede them. Throw ’em back, like a Chase Utley home run at a Cubs game. How often would he still win the election?

89.0% of the time, according to our most recent run of simulations, along with another 2.4% of outcomes that ended in ties. This is because in the vast majority of our simulations, Obama either:

a) was winning at least 291 electoral votes, meaning that he could drop Pennsylvania’s 21 and still be over 270, and/or

b) was winning at least 270 electoral votes, while already being projected to lose Pennsylvania in the first place.

(a) was much, much more common than (b), obviously.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.

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