Biden's Great Leap Forward: A split second in Wisconsin

I live in Switzerland and was working at my computer the morning after the U.S. election when I was stunned to see the Fox election map suddenly do something completely unnatural: in a split second between 3 A.M. and 4 A.M. U.S. Central Time, the Wisconsin icon switched from light-red Trump to light-blue Biden.  In that same instant, the probability meter, which had been very accurate in 2016, likewise jerked from a 77% Trump likelihood to over 80% Biden.

Maybe it's because most Americans did not watch it happen live as I did, but I have since wondered why this bizarre moment — Biden's Great Leap Forward — has not been widely mentioned.

So I decided to find that late-night moment of Biden's Blue Miracle in the voting results database.  The database is sent from the supplier to the New York Times, and here is the link for the Wisconsin data: https://static01.nyt.com/elections-assets/2020/data/api/2020-11-03/race-page/wisconsin/president.json.

In the screen shot below is the moment I saw happen in real time at 3:42:20 ("Z" or Zulu Time is six hours ahead of Wisconsin time), as the lead changed from a 3.6% Trump lead to a 0.3% Biden lead:

Here's the effect of that data dump before and after:

Note that within the first 40 minutes after Wisconsin's vote counts began publishing at 8 P.M., Trump established a lead that basically held steady at around 51% to 47% for the next seven hours, as the total count climbed to nearly 3 million votes.

Note also that the two candidates remained fairly close throughout the night as the count rose from about 500,000 to 3 million, implying that this was not a case of Trump getting huge in-person numbers, only to have them erased by slightly more huge Biden mail-in numbers, as the Democrat media would have you believe.  Rather, Biden voters appeared to have slogged to the polls and early vote drop-off bins as much as anyone else, contrary to the notion that they cowered in fear of COVID and all voted by mail.

Everything was quiet as occasional vote updates trickled in: 2,200 ballots at 2:20 A.M.; 5,900 votes at 3:08 A.M.  Suddenly, 170,000 votes — 5% of the total state count — came crashing in in one dump (there were over 340 data time series delivered, making this one 17 times larger than average).  Trump had been ahead by 108,000 votes at 3:42 A.M., only to be behind by 9,000 votes an instant later.  (With 99% of the vote counted and the state called for Biden, the basement-dwelling candidate had a 20,000-vote lead.)

In summary: With the ballot count approaching 3 million out of a total of less than 3.3 million recorded, the worst presidential candidate in history, who could barely get his tired body across the Delaware state line for a 60-person "rally," at 3:42 A.M. on the night of the election bagged a net of 118,215 votes in a single massive data dump to take a narrow lead.  And that lead then just stayed nice and steady till the count slowly finished eight days later.

The statistical word for this is bullfeathers.

I live in Switzerland and was working at my computer the morning after the U.S. election when I was stunned to see the Fox election map suddenly do something completely unnatural: in a split second between 3 A.M. and 4 A.M. U.S. Central Time, the Wisconsin icon switched from light-red Trump to light-blue Biden.  In that same instant, the probability meter, which had been very accurate in 2016, likewise jerked from a 77% Trump likelihood to over 80% Biden.

Maybe it's because most Americans did not watch it happen live as I did, but I have since wondered why this bizarre moment — Biden's Great Leap Forward — has not been widely mentioned.

So I decided to find that late-night moment of Biden's Blue Miracle in the voting results database.  The database is sent from the supplier to the New York Times, and here is the link for the Wisconsin data: https://static01.nyt.com/elections-assets/2020/data/api/2020-11-03/race-page/wisconsin/president.json.

In the screen shot below is the moment I saw happen in real time at 3:42:20 ("Z" or Zulu Time is six hours ahead of Wisconsin time), as the lead changed from a 3.6% Trump lead to a 0.3% Biden lead:

Here's the effect of that data dump before and after:

Note that within the first 40 minutes after Wisconsin's vote counts began publishing at 8 P.M., Trump established a lead that basically held steady at around 51% to 47% for the next seven hours, as the total count climbed to nearly 3 million votes.

Note also that the two candidates remained fairly close throughout the night as the count rose from about 500,000 to 3 million, implying that this was not a case of Trump getting huge in-person numbers, only to have them erased by slightly more huge Biden mail-in numbers, as the Democrat media would have you believe.  Rather, Biden voters appeared to have slogged to the polls and early vote drop-off bins as much as anyone else, contrary to the notion that they cowered in fear of COVID and all voted by mail.

Everything was quiet as occasional vote updates trickled in: 2,200 ballots at 2:20 A.M.; 5,900 votes at 3:08 A.M.  Suddenly, 170,000 votes — 5% of the total state count — came crashing in in one dump (there were over 340 data time series delivered, making this one 17 times larger than average).  Trump had been ahead by 108,000 votes at 3:42 A.M., only to be behind by 9,000 votes an instant later.  (With 99% of the vote counted and the state called for Biden, the basement-dwelling candidate had a 20,000-vote lead.)

In summary: With the ballot count approaching 3 million out of a total of less than 3.3 million recorded, the worst presidential candidate in history, who could barely get his tired body across the Delaware state line for a 60-person "rally," at 3:42 A.M. on the night of the election bagged a net of 118,215 votes in a single massive data dump to take a narrow lead.  And that lead then just stayed nice and steady till the count slowly finished eight days later.

The statistical word for this is bullfeathers.