Using a complex formula of economic conditions, historical data and past voting patterns, eight top political scientists have made their final prediction for the November election. When all factors are averaged together, they predict Hillary Clinton will defeat Donald Trump by a national vote of 50.7% to 49.3%.
The groups report, which can be read here, says the probability that Clinton will receive more than 50 percent of the vote is 69 percent. Trump’s probability of winning more than half the vote is just 31 percent.
This same magical brew by the noted eight political scientists correctly predicted Barack Obama’s 52 percent of the national vote in 2012.
In the electoral college, they say Clinton has a 73 percent of winning 261 electoral votes (nine short of the 270 necessary) and Trump 153 electoral votes. There are ten tossup states with 124 votes remaining.
“Forget Wendell Willkie: There has never been a presidential nominee like him,” wrote Sabato today. “He has divided the Republican Party — separating party elites from much of the party’s populist base — and he has rearranged the electorate in ways we haven’t ever seen, at least to this extent. Minority groups appear to be rejecting him by margins as bad or worse than recent GOP nominees. Trump is having trouble winning a group that is normally quite Republican: college-educated whites. At the same time, he has drawn very sizable, exceptionally intense backing from non-college whites and, disproportionately, blue-collar white men, and he has the potential to out-perform Mitt Romney’s 2012 showing among that group.”
Sabato says despite a recent surge in the polls by Trump, the mechanics of how elections are won still favor Clinton.
“Trump is neither mainstream nor conducting a campaign that is anything close technologically and financially to the Clinton effort,” wrote Sabato. “Generally, when the campaign has been more about Trump, he has suffered.”
While the margin of the race is likely to be razor thin, the difference could be the excitement of the base. This is one area where the Clinton camp is obviously nervous.
“The Democratic electorate does not seem particularly motivated right now — particularly the youngest voters, who can be hard to turn out anyway and who might disproportionately opt for third party candidates — which may amplify the importance of the first debate as a way for Clinton to try to rebuild her once-big lead,” wrote Sabato. “Or further fritter it away.”