News & Politics

Respected UVA Election Model Predicts Narrow Trump Win

An election model that has correctly predicted every presidential race since 1988 is giving Donald Trump a narrow victory in the 2016 election.

Alan Abramowitz, the creator of the model,  which was done for the highly respected University of Virginia’s Center for Politics “Crystal Ball,” also says that elements of his model may be out of line because of Trump’s extraordinary unpopularity.

Washington Examiner: 

Using several standards to make his prediction, Alan Abramowitz’s “Time for Change” model done for the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics “Crystal Ball” shows Trump winning 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent for Hillary Clinton.

He added that the model shows a 66 percent chance of a Trump victory.

“Based on a predicted vote share of 48.6 percent for the incumbent party, these results indicate that Trump should be a clear but not overwhelming favorite to defeat Clinton: There should be about a 66 percent chance of a Republican victory,” Abramowitz added.

However, in an unusual move, Abramowitz is throwing his own model under the bus and suggesting that Clinton will win because Trump is so different from past presidential candidates and has such high unfavorability ratings that his election forecast basics can’t be trusted.

“Based on the results of other recent presidential elections, however, as well as Trump’s extraordinary unpopularity, it appears very likely that the Republican vote share will fall several points below what would be expected if the GOP had nominated a mainstream candidate and that candidate had run a reasonably competent campaign. Therefore, despite the prediction of the Time for Change model, Clinton should probably be considered a strong favorite to win the 2016 presidential election as suggested by the results of recent national and state polls,” he concluded on the Crystal Ball site.

I think a lot of people who hate Trump are going to vote for him anyway. Same goes for Clinton, so I think Abramowitz is putting too much emphasis on the candidate’s “unpopularity.”

Larry Sabato, founder of the Crystal Ball site, predicts Clinton will win easily with a possible 337 electoral votes. With Trump in trouble in red states like Georgia, North and South Carolina, and Utah, he is going to need several blue states to offset inroads Clinton may make to his firewall. Polls show he is doing badly in most of the blue swing states so he is either going to have to hang on to red states where it is currently too close to call, or find voters in unexpected places like Connecticut, New Jersey, and Minnesota.

The real problem for Trump is turnout and the fact that his GOTV efforts will pale in comparison to Clinton’s. If Abramowitz is basing his prediction on past turnout for Republicans, he will probably be wrong.

The real irony of this projection is what Republicans could have done with almost any other candidate.