The best way to figure who will win, is to keep a close eye on state-wide polls of the swing states. Since the beginning of this current madness, there have been hundreds of polls, most of which at this point, only confirm what we already know. New York votes Democrat. Similarly, Texas votes Republican. These are the solid blue and red states.
National polls show the candidates to be close. Trump is likely to win more states than Hillary. But, winning the most states doesn’t win the election.
The only way any candidate can win an election, is to win some of the swing states. Hillary Clinton is in Florida right now. Donald Trump, of course, is getting ready to make a grand entrance in Cleveland, OH. These are the two really key swing states. The other really big one is North Carolina.
So, while a ton of predictions are being churned out, few understand the prediction process. Each state is assigned a probability that the Republican or Democrat will win in November. Texas, for example has a 99% chance of going to Trump. The reason for this is simple. All the polls show Trump beating either Sanders or Clinton. Similarly, Trump has nearly no chance to win New York. This leaves about 10 to 13 swing states, with probabilities much closer to toss up status (50%). North Carolina is closer to a solid “anyone’s guess” or 50% than any other state.
Overall, using probabilities by state, Clinton has a 70-75% chance of winning. It is noted that the effect of third party candidates has not been taken into account in most polls.
These predictions are remarkably close to the odds given by the bookies from across the pond.
New York Times – Who will be the next president?
The predictions change as poll numbers change. Each candidate will focus on states where they are lagging. If more states move closer to the 50% probability value, the net result may be a decrease in election predictability.