In an effort to keep Trump supporters from claiming a stolen election, Hawkfish CEO Josh Mendelsohn is getting out the word: Expect Trump to look like he's winning big on election night. (Hawkfish is Michael Bloomberg's political data firm.)
In an exclusive interview with Axios, Mendelsohn spells out the likely scenario.
"We are sounding an alarm and saying that this is a very real possibility, that the data is going to show on election night an incredible victory for Donald Trump," he said.
"When every legitimate vote is tallied and we get to that final day, which will be some day after Election Day, it will in fact show that what happened on election night was exactly that, a mirage," Mendelsohn said. "It looked like Donald Trump was in the lead and he fundamentally was not when every ballot gets counted."
Under one of the group's modeling scenarios, Trump could hold a projected lead of 408-130 electoral votes on election night, if only 15% of the vote by mail (VBM) ballots had been counted.
Once 75% of mail ballots were counted, perhaps four days later, the lead could flip to Biden's favor.
This particular modeling scenario portrays Biden as ultimately winning a massive victory, 334-204.
The methodology, described in detail below, was based in part on polling from FiveThirtyEight in August.
There will also be delays due to many states that don't count their mail-in ballots until Election Day.
The group is trying to educate state and county elections officials, news organizations, and the courts about the danger of premature results — and to the likelihood of Trump and his team going to court and pulling high-pressure tactics like the 2000 "Brooks Brothers riot," demanding that election officials reject mailed-in ballots counted after election day.
Hawkfish is advising voters to be very careful about voting early enough and following all the instructions to the letter — or, putting on protective gear and go early either to safely vote in person or return the ballot at the polls.