A statistical formula that has determined which candidate would win almost every election in past 100 years says that a Republican and specifically Donald Trump will become the next president. Helmut Norpoth, a political science professor at Stony Brook University in New York, recreated the statistical model and concluded that Trump has a 97 percent chance to win the 2016 presidential election. On Monday evening, Feb. 22, 2016, Norpoth presented his findings to Stony Brook Alumni Association at the SUNY Global Center in Manhattan.
Nortpoth, whose research areas are electoral behavior, forecasting, and public opinion; recreated the model in 1996, and has successfully predicted the election winner since. The model uses primaries results, patterns in that election year to “predict,” “the vote the presidential vote in the general election.” The statistical model was correct for more than 100 years of elections since the 1912 election except the very close 1960 election. The model has a 96.1 percent accuracy rate based on its track record.
This time, Norpoth found that “The model shows Trump has a 97 percent chance of beating Hillary Clinton…and a 99 percent chance of trumping Bernie Sanders. Professor Norpoth discussed the results of his study for the 2016 cycle at a Stony Brook alumni event. Norpoth told the audience, “The bottom line is that the primary model, also using the cyclical movement, makes it almost certain that Donald Trump will be the next president if he’s a nominee of the party.” Norpoth said that no matter the GOP candidate, the Republicans have a 61 percent chance of winning the election.
Speaking of the seriousness of Democratic candidate and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and real estate mogul Donald Trump’s campaigns, Norpoth said, “When I started out with this kind of display a few months ago, I thought it was sort of a joke. Well, I’ll tell you right now, it ain’t a joke anymore.”
Professor Norpoth said that the model works for every election, and Trump’s candidacy should be taken seriously. He based his conclusions on the soundness of his analysis for previous years, “You think ‘This is crazy. How can anything come up with something like that?’ But that’s exactly the kind of equation I used to predict Bill Clinton winning in ’96, that I used to predict that George Bush would win in 2004, and, as you remember four years ago, that Obama would win in 2012.”
Norpth discussed possible general election matchups, basing it on the three nominating contests that happened to the point. In the situation where Trump is the GOP nominee, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, Trump wins by a landslide. Norpoth gave the data, “Trump beats Hillary 54.7 percent to 45.3 percent [of the popular vote]. This is almost too much to believe. The probability of that [outcome] is almost complete certainty, 97 percent. It’s almost ‘Take it to the bank.'”
Norpoth based his results from Trump large margin victories in New Hampshire and South Carolina, and Hillary Clinton slim victories over Sanders in Iowa and Nevada. Norpoth said Trump would win by the same resounding victory over Sanders with a 99 percent chance of winning the election.
According to Norpoth’s model, a Republican victory is not a sure thing if Florida Senator Marco Rubio or Texas Senator Ted Cruz would become the nominee. With Clinton as the Democratic nominee, she had a 55 percent chance of winning the election over Rubio or Cruz. She would win by less than a percent of the popular vote, 0.3 percent to be exact. Professor Norpoth is certain that Rubio and Cruz could not win the election.
Trump is the Republicans’ best hope. If he is the Republican nominee, there is no way he could lose, he win a majority of both the popular vote and the Electoral College. Norpoth concluded, “If you win by 54 percent [of the popular vote], you have a big majority in the Electoral College. Nobody who has ever gotten 54 percent has lost.”