NEW YORK—In an attempt to keep its readers apprised of the infectious disease’s likely voting preferences, the data journalism website FiveThirtyEight unveiled a new analytics model Thursday that will attempt to predict who the coronavirus will support for president in November. “The question of which candidate this deadly global pandemic will vote for in the general election is what’s on everyone’s mind right now, and so we’re proud to announce the launch of FiveThirtyEight-19, a unique and highly sophisticated Covid-19 vote forecasting tool,” said editor-in-chief Nate Silver, explaining the interactive feature would employ a complex linear regression analysis to discern, with up to 99.2% accuracy, whether the acute respiratory disease will cast its ballot for incumbent Donald Trump or challenger Joe Biden. “This module will provide ongoing, real-time predictions based on the latest polling of the virus, which could be a decisive factor in the election, with the issues it raises influencing policy for the next four years and beyond. Of course, even a careful, data-driven approach has its limitations, especially since the coronavirus is among those low-information voters who lack clear political convictions and may not make up their minds until they enter the voting booth. But by using 17 different variables to profile the virus, we believe we can estimate its presidential pick as well as its down-ballot selections with a modest degree of certainty.” At press time, reports confirmed the FiveThirtyEight team was scrambling to come up with a new model after learning the coronavirus had mutated yet again.
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