Four years ago national polls showed Hillary Clinton 12 points ahead of then candidate Donald Trump. On election day, Trump won in an electoral college landslide. Fast forward to 2020 and polls are now showing Joe Biden as the favorite. But a political science professor says polls are not the only thing that indicates a winner and his model shows there’s a “91 percent” chance of the President being re-elected.
Mediaite reported on Wednesday that respected Stony Brook political science professor Dr. Helmut Norpoth is doubling down on his “Primary Model,” which has correctly predicted five out of the past six elections since 1996 and every single election but two in the past 108 years.
“The Primary Model gives Trump a 91 percent chance of winning in November,” Norpoth said. “This model gets it right for 25 of the 27 elections since 1912, when primaries were introduced.”
As Mediaite noted, the two elections the model failed to predict were the 1960 election of John F. Kennedy and the 2000 election of George Bush. Many historians and political scientists believe that the Democrat machine in Chicago fraudulently obtained votes and changed ballots to give Kennedy a narrow win in Illinois. Likewise, Democrats believe Al Gore was denied a victory when Republicans were in charge of “counting chads” in Florida during 2000. Those unpredictable events could explain why both elections are outliers in the model results.
Norpoth’s model examines the results of presidential primaries as the strongest indicator as to the outcome in the general election, not the polls that dominate the political discussion. According to Norpoth, Biden is in a much weaker position than Trump because of his poor showing in the first two primary races.
Before making the stunning comeback in the South Carolina primary and carrying the following races, Biden came in fourth place in Iowa with just 15.8 percent of the vote and came in fifth place in New Hampshire with just 8.4 percent. Norpoth stressed that enthusiasm is key.
“The terrain of presidential contests is littered with nominees who saw a poll lead in the spring turn to dust in the fall,” Norpoth told Mediaite. “The list is long and discouraging for early frontrunners. Beginning with Thomas Dewey in 1948, it spans such notables as Richard Nixon in 1960, Jimmy Carter in 1980, Michael Dukakis in 1988, George H.W. Bush in 1992, and John Kerry in 2004, to cite just the most spectacular cases.”
Norpoth’s model, which correctly predicted Trump’s victory roughly nine months before the 2016 election, suggests that the president will win by even a wider margin in the electoral college with 362 electoral votes versus the 304 he earned against Hillary Clinton. Mediaite pointed out such a victory would nearly match Barack Obama’s 2008 election, when he earned 365 electoral votes.
The Stony Brook professor appeared on “The Ingraham Angle” back in May making the same prediction.
While the “Primary Model” hands Trump his reelection, national polls suggest Biden will win handily in November. The Real Clear Politics average shows the former VP besting the sitting president by 8.7 points. In the latest Fox News poll, Biden has a 12 point lead over Trump.
But, like 2016, one must look at the polling methods. Polling organizations typically over-sample Democrats while under-sampling both Independents and Republicans. Research shows that Americans remain mostly evenly split between Democrats, Republicans an Independents– with each at an average of 33 percent. Most polling firms, however, count many more democrats in the polling (sometimes up to 40%) and under-sample Independents to a great extent and Republicans often down to 26%. The problem this presents is that Independents tend to view the issues almost identically to Republicans and also tend to break to the Republican candidate in elections.
Applying the corrected sampling to approval polls for President Trump’s performance would result in approval ratings of over 50% instead of the 44 to 46% polling organizations regularly report. This also has significant ramifications for match-ups between the candidates in the 2020 election.
–Metro Voice and wire services