(Helmut Norpoth, The Hill) To venture the prediction that Donald Trump is a sure bet to be elected President in November sounds about as outlandish, perhaps even ludicrous and delusional as anything coming out of the mouth of the candidate.
Polls, on the average, as tracked by RealClearPolitics and the Huffington Post, along with prediction markets like PredicIt and the Iowa Electronic Market, as well as several models featured at the recent meeting of the American Political Science Association all agree that Hillary Clinton is the heavy favorite to win.
One model, however, begs to differ. It is one that, with slight variations, has accurately predicted the winner of the popular vote in each of the last five presidential elections, ever since it was introduced in 1996.
Dubbed the “Primary Model,” it puts much stock in using primary results to forecast the vote in the general election. It also takes advantage of a historical tendency of the electoral pendulum to swing back and forth between the two parties. Both factors favor Trump over Clinton in 2016.
Trump proved to be the stronger candidate in primaries, according to the metric used by the model, and the electoral pendulum is poised to swing back to the Republican side after two Democratic terms in the White House under Barack Obama. The Primary Model predicts that Trump will defeat Clinton by 52.5 percent to 47.5 percent of the two-party vote. It is 87-percent certain that he will be the next President.
How does the model produce this forecast?