(Photo: Gage Skidmore, CCL)
BY RUSS GARDINER
It’s been a few days since I wrote an article explaining some of the limitations and strengths of nationwide and state polling for the 2016 election. I also briefly examined some of the swing states of salience and how they were likely to effect the race. But the time for talking is over. In this article, as well as making a prediction of who will be president, I’m going to justify it with both empirical evidence and some contributing factors.
President: Hillary Clinton
The reason I’m predicting such a strong win for the Clinton campaign is down to three main reasons. The first of these is the polls. The empirical evidence all alludes to Clinton widening her lead from Trump again, following the tightening last week. Secondly, the swing voters going for Clinton rather than Trump (this is a controversial call). Thirdly, getting the vote out operations.
Firstly, the polls have been reflecting better figures for Clinton over the last week both on a state level and a national level. These have included Nate Silver amongst other pollsters predicting her winning North Carolina, Florida and Nevada. Trump’s lead in North Carolina has been very consistent, to the extent that I feel he will take it. However, Florida and Nevada are likely to go blue on the latest predictions.
Secondly, the last minute, polling station decision-makers. This is a class of voters that make their mind up at the last second. As a pollster, or anyone into statistical analysis, you despise them. You have to try and predict where the undecided voters are going to go. Our Chief Editor and I disagree on this one, but I feel that this group will go with the safe option of Hillary Clinton. She represents stability, status quo etc.
Thirdly, the ability to get the vote out. Trump may claim that he has been getting enormous numbers to his rallies, but how relevant is this? It’s not. Hillary controls the ground campaign. In reality, Hillary Clinton has a much larger operation in the grassroots. She’s a seasoned campaigner, with very large and experienced teams, many of whom used to work for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012, this is the final important factor that ensures Hillary is well ahead of Donald Trump.
The State Polls
As well as using Nate Silver’s, CNN’s and BBC modelling, I’ve also weighted some of the polls in terms of the quality of their fieldwork in coming to these figures:
The election campaign is finally over, and the waiting game is complete. In the early hours of tomorrow morning we will find out whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump has won the race for the White House. This may not be the end. Trump, if he loses, may yet dispute the result. And if some races, particularly Florida or North Carolina, are tight, legal challenges may be on the cards.