Ahead of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential election win, few pollsters forecast a victory over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
One exception was Stoney Brook University professor Helmut Norpoth, who is now following up his projection of four years ago with a prediction that the president will sail to re-election with a landslide win on Election Day, as reported by the American Spectator.
“All about primary elections”
Norpoth’s 2016 model was a notable outlier that made him one of the few to get it right.
This time around, he is predicting an overwhelming 362-176 electoral victory for Trump. According to his forecast, Trump has a 91% chance of winning a second term.
The unique model has been used to correctly predict five of the past six presidential contests. Extending its parameters to include prior election years, it has proven accurate in 25 of 27 cycles — the only exceptions being John F. Kennedy’s 1960 win against Richard Nixon and the controversial 2000 race between George W. Bush and Al Gore.
He explained his approach as more focused on early primary results than the volatile public opinion polls that follow.
“It’s all about primary elections, which are real electoral contests and the votes are counted and tabulated,” Norpoth worte.
The professor noted that he uses “real numbers, such as the results of previous elections, which indicate whether the pendulum is swinging away from or toward the White House party.”
As such, he concluded that the Democratic Party might have hurt its own cause by failing to unite behind one candidate early on in the primary election season. Biden performed below many expectations in early primary states while the GOP races saw high turnout and overwhelming support for the incumbent president.
“When I looked at New Hampshire and I saw that Donald Trump got 85 percent of the votes … I was pretty sure what the model was going to predict,” Norpoth added.
While Democrats continue to hold up polls that show Biden with a healthy lead over Trump nationally, Norpoth is among an emerging group challenging that prevailing narrative.
He says it “seems crazy” to predict re-election for the notoriously schismatic president, but it actually could be more foolhardy to count Trump out like so many pundits did in 2016.