The latest expert predictions for the 2016 presidential election — predictions from a variety of established models for calling presidential races — show Donald Trump finishing somewhat closer to the Democratic candidate, who will almost certainly be Hillary Clinton. But in the end, most major prediction models continue to say, Trump will go home on November 8, 2016, as a big loser.
Or, as Trump himself might say, he will find himself “schlonged” by Hillary Clinton.
Nonetheless, Trump appears to be closing the gap between himself and the eventual Democratic nominee, at least in the popular vote, thanks largely to the recent spate of terrorist incidents such as the Paris attacks and San Bernardino mass shooting.
The Moody’s Analytics model, a prediction system employed by the leading economic analysis firm which claims to have correctly predicted every presidential election since 1980, shows the Republican gaining in the popular vote and finishing in a relatively close election. But when electoral college votes are tallied, the Democrat will win by a sizable margin.
The Moody’s model matches party against party, rather than making predictions for individual candidates in an election.
“Political variables still point strongly toward the Republican ticket, but the Democratic advantage among economic variables counteracts that strength,” wrote Moody’s election analyst Dan White after the firm tallied its November data.
“On the margins, where this election will ultimately be won, the economics appear to matter more based on the current forecast, and the model predicts a win for the Democratic ticket in 2016,” White wrote.
While Moody’s predicts a popular vote that could turn out razor-close, the electoral college will finish with 326 votes for the Democrat in the 2016 race, with 212 for the Republican. A simple majority of the 538 available electoral votes, 270, is required to win the presidential election.
In the following video, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com offers his own predictions for the 2016 election.
Markets-based models have also proven popular in making election predictions. In these systems, investors may purchase hypothetical shares in each candidate, on the theory that when experts have money at stake, they are likely to make more rational predictions, based on objective factors rather than on the wishful thinking that can often infect election-prediction attempts.
The Predictwise market-based model, however, reflects the Moody’s prediction, with the Democrat holding a 62 percent probability of winning the presidency, compared to 38 percent for the Republican, according to data last updated on December 23.
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Unlike Moody’s, however, Predictwise breaks predictions down by candidate, and at least on the Republican side, the preferences of investors yield some surprises.
Despite polling data this week showing that Donald Trump appears to be cruising toward the Republican nomination with 39 percent support among Republican voters, a remarkable 21 points ahead of his nearest rival, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, investors in the Predictwise market see it differently.
According to the market predictions, the Republican with the best chance of securing the nomination and running against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election is not Trump or even Cruz — but Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who is seen as the Republican with the best chance of defeating Clinton.
Even so, the market gives Rubio only a 15 percent chance of winning the presidency, compared to 57 percent for Clinton and 9 percent for Trump.
Of course traditional polling remains the most widespread method for making presidential election predictions.
According to ElectionProjection.com, which compiles data from numerous polls to arrive at a single, aggregate prediction, the polls also see Hillary Clinton with a clear victory over predicted Republican nominee Donald Trump.
The composite polling data shows Clinton winning 48.4 percent of the popular vote, to 43.2 percent for Trump — a healthy 5.2 percentage point margin. In the electoral college, the gap is also wide — though closer than under the Moody’s model — with a prediction of 288 for Clinton to win the 2016 election, and 250 for Trump.
[Featured Photo By Carlos Osorio / Associated Press]