A Stoney Brook SUNY professor, Helmut Norpoth, is still betting money on a Trump win. Here’s why.
The professor’s model that leads him to expect a Trump win is simple and based on two factors. First, the simple fact that we rarely get a party in office for more than two terms. Second, the way a candidate does in the primaries is predictive of how they’ll do in the general election.
By the end of April, Donald Trump had already almost caught up to the total number of primary votes Mitt Romney received in 2012. When the primary was over, Trump had surpassed all previous Republican records in the number of votes he received. Norpoth thinks this makes a Trump win very likely in November.
Even some who respect Norpoth’s work miss the point. For example, a columnist wrote in the Melfort Journal,
Back in March, Trump received a massive boost when one notable forecasting model predicted he would win by a landslide. In fact, he was given a 87%-99% chance of taking over the Oval Office using the Primary Model by Helmut Norpoth from Stony Brook University.
The problem is, this model only uses primary results to predict the election winner and doesn’t take into account anything that happens after the fact – such as a scandal surrounding vulgar comments recorded several years prior.
It Norpoth declared Trump had a 100% chance of winning, this would be a fair criticism. But the reason for giving a lower chance is precisely because other factors might change the outcome.
In any case, nothing that has happened to Trump has made Norpoth change his mind. In fact, he has bet money on the outcome.
But what about the polls that show Trump behind Clinton? An article at Syracuse.com explains:
Norpoth wrote in The Hill that although the race looks decided, current polling methods are “bunk.”
The projections for Clinton are all based on opinion polls, which are flawed because they don’t reflect actions, Norpoth wrote. They’re about what voters think of Clinton or Trump, but they can’t tell us exactly how voters will act on those thoughts.
“It is ingrained in all of us that voting is civic duty,” he says. “So nearly all of us say, oh yes, I’ll vote, and then many will not follow through.”
Instead of opinion polling, Norpoth relies on statistics from candidates’ performances in party primaries and patterns in the electoral cycle to forecast results. The model correctly predicted the victor in every presidential election since 1996, according to the Daily Mail.
Running the model on earlier campaigns comes up with the correct outcome for every race since 1912, except the 1960 election.
Ultimately, we can’t know what will happen until we all vote and the votes are (hopefully) accurately counted. But Norpoth’s model sounds more reliable than the polls. I’ve mentioned before reasons to not listen to polls, but here’s another one: Between last Wednesday to last Friday the polls made a jump in Trump’s favor. The common perception is that Trump did so well in the debate that he suddenly made a lot of people prefer him.
I don’t believe it. He did well in the debate but he didn’t do THAT well.
Here’s a better explanation. Trump has been popular all along but the polls use models that give them the results they want. As we get closer to the actual election, however, the polls don’t want to seem wildly inaccurate. So they start tweaking their models to get closer to what they think the election results will be. The new popularity of Trump shows us that the earlier polls were probably inaccurate.
For more understanding of how the polls are biased, see the interview below.
If you are still not convinced, take a look at this Zero Hedge post on how Wikileaks exposed the Democrats method of colluding with or manipulating the pollsters to inflate Hillary’s chances of winning.