A top Democratic data and analytics firm warned that President Donald Trump may win what appears to be a landslide victory on Election Night that will erode into a loss once all the ballots are counted.
Far more Democrats are expected to vote by mail than Republicans, due to a partisan split in concerns about the coronavirus, which would give the misleading perception during television coverage after polls close that the president has won re-election, reported Axios.
"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," said Josh Mendelsohn, CEO of the data firm Hawkfish.
"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 added. "It looked like Donald Trump was in the lead and he fundamentally was not when every ballot gets counted."
One of the firm's models projected Trump could hold an astounding 408-130 electoral vote lead before prime-time coverage ends, if only 15 percent of mail-in ballots were counted by that point.
However, Biden would take the lead in that scenario once 75 percent of the mail-in ballots were counted -- perhaps as many as four days later.
That scenario would eventually end with Biden winning a massive 334-204 victory, and Hawkfish warned election officials, media organizations, courts and voters not to put too much faith in premature results that could give Trump an opening to declare victory and delegitimize an election loss.
An Axios poll found that 36 percent of respondents expect to learn who won before Election Night ends, while only 13 percent expect results might take more than a week to be finalized.