Donald Trump entered the third presidential debate needing to gain significant ground after a dismal October. The GOP nominee is trailing by a wider margin in national polls than any candidate in recent history who went on to win the presidency.
The scientific post-debate polls suggest that Hillary Clinton won by a comfortable margin. However, experts said even a draw would mean an effective loss for Trump, given his numbers heading into the debate.
One of the biggest post-debate storylines was Trump’s refusal to commit to accept the election result. Trump needs a significant tightening, which looks increasingly unlikely as the Nov. 8 election quickly approaches.
Over the past four weeks, Clinton’s chances to win the presidency have increased across all election forecasts. Since the first debate, her lead over Trump has continued to grow and currently sits between four and twelve percentage points nationwide, depending on which polls you count, and which candidates are included. According to the RealClearPolitics average of recent polls, Clinton leads Trump by 6.4 percentage points.
Before the first presidential debate, the presidential race appeared to be tightening, with a major deviation between some of the polls-based forecasts and market-based forecasts. However, the gap among the different election forecasts is significantly closing with Clinton near 90 percent or higher in most projections over the past two weeks.
Here is a look at the latest forecast trends.
How Forecasts Compare
NYT Upshot: Clinton 92%, Trump 8%
The New York Times’ Upshot elections model suggests that Hillary Clinton is highly favored to win the presidency. Based on the latest state and national polls, Clinton has a 92 percent chance of winning the presidency compared to Trump’s 8 percent.
Clinton is up by three percentage points compared to last week’s forecasting model.
While it is possible that Trump could stage a comeback and rally in the polls over the next few weeks, it is unprecedented for a candidate to win the election after being this far behind in mid-October.
FiveThirtyEight: Clinton 86.7%, Trump 13.3% (Polls-Only)
Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight polls plus forecast also gives Trump a narrow path to the White House.
Trump has a 15.7 percent chance compared to Clinton’s 84.2 percent. The polls plus forecast takes into account the polls, economy and historical data to make a prediction. Clinton has an 86.7 percent chance of winning in their polls-only forecast.
FiveThirtyEight’s Nowcast, which incorporates new polls very quickly, shows the Democratic nominee having an 86.9 percent chance of winning if the election were to be held today. According to the website, early-October polls, in most years, are close to predicting the winner– with a correlation of +0.96 between the polls and the final result.
PredictWise: Clinton 91%, Trump 9%
In addition to polling-based models from FiveThirtyEight, there is the PredictWise model, which uses information from betting markets to make a prediction.
As of Thursday morning, PredictWise shows Clinton has a 91 percent probability of winning the election, which is the highest her chances have been according to their forecasting model.
Daily Kos: Clinton 95%, Trump 5%
Daily Kos shows Clinton currently has a 95 percent chance of winning the presidency. In a simulated electoral votes projection, Clinton has 340 compared to Trump’s 198. Their projections take into account current polling data.
How States Have Shifted
According to polling averages compiled by RealClearPolitics, Clinton leads in states totaling 260 electoral votes, while Trump takes 170.
Clinton has moved into a slight lead in traditionally red Arizona. The Democratic nominee is also gaining ground in Republican states including Texas, Georgia and South Carolina. The critical swing state of North Carolina looks to be a clear victory for Clinton.
Trump does have a chance of clinching Ohio and Iowa.
What Has Recently Impacted the Predictions?
Trump’s poll numbers have plummeted since the release of a 2005 tape in which he made lewd comments about women, and a string of sexual assault allegations. Trump has responded to the women’s accusations by claiming that the election is “rigged” against him.
The GOP nominee has refused to back down from those claims although he has not provided evidence. During Wednesday night’s debate, Trump said Clinton’s campaign was responsible for the claims of unwanted sexual advances against him.
When Wallace asked if he will accept the results of the election, Trump responded with a vague answer.
“I will look at it at the time,” he said. “I’ll tell you at the time, I’ll keep you in suspense.”
Trump’s comments on a “rigged” election have received plenty of reaction from Republicans and Democrats. It’s also caused some officials to worry that Trump’s rhetoric could cause unwanted behavior, or even violence at the polls on election day.
Clinton has also been hit with negative headlines after the FBI released the latest notes on its investigation into her use of a private email server during her tenure at secretary of state. However, it appears it has not made much of an impact in the forecasts.
The FBI documents included claims that a top State Department official sought a “quid pro quo” with the bureau in a bid to lower the classification on a Clinton server email in return for State Department approval of more FBI agents abroad.
Documents published by WikiLeaks that were purportedly sent by her campaign chairman, John Podesta include revelations about the Clinton Foundation, and Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street.
Among the scientific polls evaluating who won the debate, it marks the third win for the Democratic nominee– with the numbers following each debate fairly similar.
According to a CNN / ORC poll of debate watchers immediately following Wednesday’s debate, Clinton clearly won the debate. The results showed 52 percent said Clinton won, as opposed to 39% for Trump.
YouGov’s post-debate poll, also shows Clinton winning the third presidential debate with a 10-point victory. According to their poll, which interviewed 1503 registered voters who watched the debate, Clinton won the debate against Trump by 49 percent to 39 percent. 12 percent said it was a tie.