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Nate Silver: Hillary Clinton Massive Favorite To Defeat Donald Trump As 538.com Election Forecast Goes Live

Looking for odds on whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will win the 2016 presidential election? Nate Silver, who over the last eight years has become perhaps the most prominent figure in the growing field of election forecasting, announced on Wednesday that his site, FiveThirtyEight.com, had completed its statistical forecasting models for the November general election — and the results look good for Hillary Clinton, but dismal for Donald Trump.

According to Silver and the FiveThirtyEight statistical predictions, Clinton is about a four-to-one favorite to defeat Trump on November 8 and become the 45th President of the United States — and the first woman to hold the job of chief executive in the country’s 240-year history.

In the 2008 presidential election, Silver and his statistics-based method accurately predicted not only that Barack Obama would defeat Republican John McCain nationally, but FiveThirtyEight also nailed predictions in 49 of the 50 United States.

In the 2012 election, Silver did himself one better, correctly picking the winner in all 50 states, and of course, predicting that Obama would vanquish Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

In the 2016 race, Silver has created three different statistical prediction models, and though he says they will update on a daily basis, or even multiple times during a day, all three currently show Clinton as a significant favorite to get the better of Donald Trump on November 8.

“We’re kind of at halftime of the election right now, and she’s taking a 7-point, maybe 10-point lead into halftime,” Silver said on the ABC-TV Network program Good Morning America on Wednesday. “There’s a lot of football left to be played, but she’s ahead in almost every poll, every swing state, every national poll.”

Watch the appearance by Nate Silver on Good Morning America on Wednesday, June 29, in the video below.

In the FiveThirtyEight “polls only” model, which bases its forecast on, as the name implies, a statistically adjusted average of all polling, Hillary Clinton, as of June 29, had an 80.6 percent chance of winning the election compared to 19.3 percent for Trump.

In other words, if the election were held 1,000 times under current conditions, Clinton would win 806 times, Trump would win 193 times, each give or take once.

Silver also uses a “polls plus” model which takes into account not only polls but the state of the economy that has historically correlated with the outcomes in presidential elections.


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“The model we call polls-plus abides by the principle of ‘stick with what works.’ It’s pretty much the same model that we used to successfully forecast the 2012 election, blending polls with an index of economic performance,” Silver explained on the FiveThirtyEight site. “As the election approaches, the weight assigned to the economic index will fade to zero.”

Under the “polls-plus” model, FiveThirtyEight sees a somewhat rosier outlook for Donald Trump, giving him a 26.4 percent chance of winning the 2016 presidential election — compared to 73.6 percent for Clinton, odds of slightly less than three-to-one for Clinton.

Silver added that under the polls-plus model, Clinton would be predicted to win the popular vote by about four percentage points.

Finally, the FiveThirtyEight site also includes a model that Nate Silver calls “Now-Cast.”

“The now-cast isn’t a forecast,” Silver explains. “It’s a hypothetical projection of what would happen if the election were held today.”

According to the Nate Silver Now-Cast, if the 2016 Presidential Election were held today, Hillary Clinton would have nearly a nine-out-of-10 chance of winning – 86 percent, specifically. Donald Trump would have a mere 14 percent chance of winning the presidency.

Nate Silver has been criticized during this election cycle for declaring, last August, that Donald Trump had a mere two-percent chance of winning the Republican nomination. But Silver says that he has learned a valuable lesson from that missed call, saying that he was “winging it” in dismissing Trump’s chances.

The FiveThirtyEight models did a much better job of predicting the primary races, this year, accurately predicting victories by Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. “Our polls-only model calling 53 of 58 races correctly, and our polls-plus model calling 52 of 58,” Nate Silver noted.

[Featured Photos By Sara D. Davis/Dave Kolinsky/Jeff Swenson/Getty Images]