In a bit of distressing news this morning, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight announced that Donald Trump would win the election if it were held today.
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) July 25, 2016
According to the popular statistics website, Donald Trump would win 57.5 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 42.5 percent.
Nate Silver’s predictions are notoriously accurate, so it’s a bit disconcerting that he has predicted that Trump would receive 285 electoral votes and Hillary Clinton only 252. But to add some perspective, he predicts that Trump would receive 45.4 percent of the popular vote compared to 45.1 percent for Clinton: not much of a margin.
The following chart, courtesy of FiveThirtyEight, shows the changing trends as each candidate’s chances have narrowed at this point of the election.
FiveThirtyEight predicts Clinton beating Trump in the long run, however, in two other election simulations. When discounting the recent “Trump bump” that normally follows a national party convention, FiveThirtyEight places Clinton at 53.7 percent to Trump’s 46.2 percent.
FiveThirtyEight forecasts winners by creating simulations of the election and producing a variety of possible outcomes for each state. The following chart, courtesy of FiveThirtyEight, shows the expected margin of victory in seven of the most hotly contested states.
Florida, which is normally considered an important swing state, is shown favoring Trump by 2.6 points. Ohio, also an important swing state for candidates, favors Trump by 1.4 points. Virginia, Michigan, and Wisconsin are all leaning Hillary at this point, according to Silver.
FiveThirtyEight also breaks the numbers down by state and which state is most likely to be the deciding factor in determining our next president in the upcoming election. Silver indicates that Florida has a 17.2 percent chance of tipping the scale toward either candidate, so a great deal of campaign activity, appearances, and ad-buys should be expected in the Sunshine State. Ohio will also be highly influential, with a 13.6 percent chance of determining the results of November’s election. Florida and Ohio have alternated as states of fierce contention over the last several elections, with both states having been extremely influential in determining the winners. The commonwealth of Pennsylvania may also come into play this year, with a 12.2 percent chance of determining whether Hillary or The Donald will make it to the Oval Office.
The numbers today are a little disconcerting, but left-leaning voters may be consoled by the fact that a candidate’s numbers usually receive a rather large bump directly after their party’s national convention. Compounded by voter disenchantment with the Democratic National Party in the light of recent email scandals involving DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Clinton supporters might console themselves that these influential events may be largely forgotten by the general voting public in four months. Perhaps the most accurate scenario will be found following the Democratic National Convention that opens on Monday afternoon. Democrats can expect a large bump for Clinton after the Convention, which will feature a tight schedule of well-loved and popular speakers such as Bernie Sanders and current president, Barack Obama.