Primary Model Predicts Trump Victory

psc-494-cover_webPrimary Model Predicts Trump Victory

Helmut Norpoth, Stony Brook University

The Primary Model predicts with 87-percent certainty that Republican Donald Trump will defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. The forecast is unconditional, final, and not subject to updating. As the name indicates, the Primary Model relies on presidential primaries as a predictor of the vote in the general election; it also makes use of a swing of the electoral pendulum that is useful for forecasting. Both primary performance and electoral pendulum favor the Republicans to win the White House in 2016. For the record, the Primary Model, with slight modifications, has correctly predicted the winner of the popular vote in all five presidential elections since it was introduced in 1996. The estimation of the model covers elections from 1912 to 2012; during that period the Primary Model picks the winner every time except in 1960. The 2016 forecast relied solely on the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. Using the standard metric, which gauges the primary performance of a nominee relative to the strongest rival, gives Trump a higher score than Clinton for the combined showing in New Hampshire in South Carolina. The point forecast predicts a Trump victory with 52.5% of the two-party vote.

Read the full article.

PS: Political Science & PoliticsVolume 49, Issue 4 (Elections in Focus) / October 2016, pp. 655-658