A political science professor who has accurately predicted the winners of previous presidential elections asserts that his statistical model shows Donald Trump has a 97-99% chance of taking the Oval Office if he wins the Republican nomination.
Stony Brook University Professor Helmut Norpoth has created a statistical algorithm that uses a candidate’s performance in party primaries and patterns in the electoral cycle to forecast the winner of the presidential election.
Should Trump follow through on his huge momentum and become the Republican nominee, he has a 97% chance of beating Hillary Clinton and a 99% chance of beating Bernie Sanders in the general election, according to Norpoth, who presented his findings at the SUNY Global Center in Manhattan earlier this week.
“The bottom line is that the primary model, using also the cyclical movement, makes it almost certain that Donald Trump will be the next president,” Norpoth told The Statesman, “if he’s a nominee of the [Republican] party.”
The model factors in the unlikely scenario of an incumbent party remaining in power after two terms but does not account for “party nominees or the conditions of the country at the time”.
The accuracy of the model built by Norpoth stands at 96.1%, and works for every single presidential election going back to 1912, with the only exception being the 1960 contest, when John F. Kennedy narrowly defeated Richard Nixon.
“You think ‘This is crazy. How can anything come up with something like that?’” Norpoth said. “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.”
According to Norpoth’s model, in a popular vote Trump beats Hillary 54.7 percent to 45.3 percent.
“The probability of that [outcome] is almost complete certainty, 97 percent. It’s almost ‘Take it to the bank,’” said the professor.
However, the professor’s confidence in Trump beating Hillary isn’t replicated in polls of a hypothetical head to head between the former Secretary of State and The Donald.
According to a Real Clear Politics average, Trump lags behind Hillary by almost three points, although that gap has reduced in recent weeks.
His forecast is also contradicted by betting odds, which universally predict Hillary Clinton to be the next President, with Trump’s chances of taking the Oval Office a long shot at around 250-1.