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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.

18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Democrats release full text of Biden's $3.5T reconciliation package

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Friday unveiled the full text of President Biden's $3.5 trillion social spending package.

Why it matters: Democrats are racing to finish negotiations and get the bill on the floor as soon as possible so Pelosi can fulfill her promises to both House centrists and progressives about the timing and sequencing of passing the party's dual infrastructure packages.

Biden pushes massive economic plan despite "stalemate"

President Biden speaking from the White House on Sept. 24. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden on Friday urged congressional Democrats to overcome differences surrounding his multi-trillion-dollar economic proposal but said he's still confident it will pass.

Why it matters: It's currently unclear how the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and the $3.5 trillion reconciliation package will move forward with moderate and progressive Democrats in disagreement over critical portions of the legislation.