Place your bets...
Now for the moment probably only a few people have been waiting for: the Official Nuking Politics 2016 Presidential Election Prediction™.
This is going to be a numbers-heavy post, so bear with me. First though, I am going to explain my methodology. Most elections can be pretty frustrating to predict and generally all the media seems to go on is polling numbers. Unfortunately, polls are notoriously unreliable. Some elections they seem to give a decent indication of how it is going to turn out, while in others they fail miserably (1980 Reagan-Carter is a good example).
So my conclusion is, there is no real correlation between polls and outcome other than, if the Democrat ends up winning, then the polls seem to have been correct, but if the Republican wins then the polls seem to have been mistaken. This is because the polls always show the Democrat winning (at least most of the time). I'll not speculate as to why that is in this post, but I'm guessing you can figure it out.
So I decided to look at another source of data to base a prediction on. One that is not so prone to errors or manipulation: Primary voter participation. It is well established that presidential elections generally swing one way or another based on whether or not the "sometimes" voters show up or not. The country is relatively 50/50 split between generally voting Republican or Democrat when it comes to sometimes or all-the-time voters. Those who rarely or never vote only show up once in a blue moon, and they tend to vote Republican when they do, historically speaking. This may be one of those times, but it's too hard to figure out the numbers involved there, so I am not considering it (although they may be hidden in the primary data, which I suspect they do).
It turns out there is a strong correlation between primary participation and election outcomes, as this site explains in detail. My methodology is a little too complex to fully explain, but basically I took the participation of the recent primaries and compared it to Republican participation in the 2012 primaries and Democrat participation in the 2008 primaries, both adjusted for estimated 2016 voter registration (+2.5% for Republicans based on 2012 registration numbers, and +7.3% for Democrats based on 2008 registration numbers).
The overall trend was a massive increase in Republican voter participation in the primaries (approximately +60%) and a noticeable drop in Democratic voter participation (-19%). I used slightly different calculations for each state, based on factors such as the timing of the primary (massive upswing in New York for Republicans, but the primary is usually over by the time it gets to NY), or special considerations specific to that state or primary compared to previous ones. I very rarely used an increase in Republican numbers (which were through the roof) and focused mainly on the drop in Democratic participation. In all cases I used what I termed "the most significant factor" to calculate a "swing" percentage to apply to voting numbers compared to the 2012 Presidential Election.
A few states had either not enough data available to determine anything of value, or had negligible changes in the identified "most significant factor". In these cases, I merely increased the vote count by 2.5% based on the estimated change in voter registration compared to 2012.
I want to stress that the following numbers aren't "real", as in, there is no way to predict what the actual numbers will be. These should only be regarded as qualitative in nature, not quantitative. They merely show a trend in a certain direction and aren't to be taken as anywhere near exact. In some cases, I guarantee they are way off, but in every one of those cases the outcome is still solid.
I also want to point out that no considerations such as 3rd party candidates, #DemExit/#NeverHillary, #NeverTrump, or current polls were taken into account. This is strictly R vs D based on primaries. Ultimately, my judgement on all of that stuff is that it would further hurt Clinton more so than it will effect Trump. Depending on how severe the effect is of former Bernie supporters refusing to vote for Hillary for instance, some states like Colorado might swing to Trump. I also think there is a slim possibility that many New York Democrats might actually vote for Trump.
After doing the math, I have given up any hope of California voting Republican. Based on past elections, it is so far in Democrat territory, that it would be impossible. Washington is close, however, so that is an outlier possibility. Hawai'i and D.C. are solidly Democrat.
The ultimate conclusions are that the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, will win in a massive landslide: 356 electoral votes to 182 over Clinton and with 57.8% of the vote. Key states that will swing include: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Florida, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Virginia.
The numbers have Minnesota winning, but it is close and I am not very confident in Minnesota voting Republican for the first time since 1972.
Here is the prediction map:
The following is a list of each state plus D.C. with the 2012 numbers (12 Election R and D) and my predicted numbers for 2016 (Pred 16 Elect R and D):
UPDATE! I don't know if people aren't reading my warning above about the following numbers, or they just aren't understanding it, but I'm getting questions about the point spread on some of these. They don't matter, so don't take them as a literal prediction.
As an example to explain how to read this, I have Trump winning in Florida by 21 points and winning Georgia by 38 points. I am not predicting that will be the actual outcome. You should merely read this as a prediction that Trump will win Florida and Georgia with a high level of confidence. The larger the margin, the higher the level of confidence. The actual margins don't mean anything more than that. I don't see Trump winning in either state by that big of a spread.
|State||12 Election R||12 Election D||Pred 16 Elect R||Pred 16 Elect D|
And here are the percentages of the votes and electoral vote outcomes for each state:
|State||% R||% D||EV R||EV D|