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Joe Biden will become "an underdog" if he fails to win Pennsylvania and its 20 electoral votes, FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday.

Why it matters: Trump won the battleground by less than a point in 2016, as he narrowly swept swing states in the Rust Belt to secure victory in the Electoral College. FiveThirtyEight's average of polls currently shows Biden with a 5% lead in Pennsylvania.

What he's saying: Silver told "This Week" that if Trump ends up winning the election, "it would come down to Pennsylvania."

  • "Pennsylvania has not bumped up to a 7- or 8-point Biden lead like we see in Michigan and Wisconsin. It's 5 points. It's not a big early voting state, so a lot of votes have not yet been cast in Pennsylvania," Silver said.
  • "Among the votes that were sent in by mail, there are some provisions about a naked ballot, a security envelope. That could make things more complicated. You could have the courts involved. You have some protests, looting in Philadelphia. There's lots of stuff going on."
  • "Maybe a lot of little things add up and Biden loses Pennsylvania by half a point, and then he doesn't quite pull off Arizona or North Carolina. He does have other options. ... But still, without Pennsylvania, then Biden becomes an underdog."

The big picture: FiveThirtyEight gives President Trump a 10% chance of winning the election and Biden a 90% chance.

Go deeper

Off the Rails

The siege

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

On Jan. 6, White House deputy national security adviser Matt Pottinger entered the West Wing in the mid-afternoon, shortly after his colleagues' phones had lit up with an emergency curfew alert from D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
3 hours ago - Science

All-civilian Inspiration4 is back on Earth after flight to space

A side-by-side of the Inspiration4 crew and a shot of their capsule on the way back to Earth. Photo: SpaceX

The all-civilian Inspiration4 crew is back on Earth after their three-day mission in orbit.

The big picture: The launch and landing of this fully amateur, private space crew marks a changing of the guard from spaceflight being a largely government-led venture to being under the purview of private companies.

28 U.S. citizens depart Afghanistan on Qatar Airways flight

Passengers board a Qatar Airways aircraft bound to Qatar at the airport in Kabul on September 10, 2021. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP via Getty Images

The State Department on Saturday confirmed that a Qatar Airways charter flight left Kabul on Friday with 28 U.S. citizens and seven lawful permanent residents on board.

The big picture: Friday's flight is the third such airlift by Qatar Airways since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, AP reports.