Hillary Clinton is favored to become the first female U.S. president by both political forecasters and betting markets.
Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight gave Clinton a 72 percent chance of winning the presidency, while PredictWise, which uses information from betting markets to make a prediction places her chances at 88 percent. The New York Times Upshot, which has been more bullish on Clinton’s chances, made her an 85 percent favorite to win.
Most major election-modeling sites have Clinton’s chances of winning considerably higher than Donald Trump’s, although some vary on how high her chances are.
The variation in forecasts over the past week reflects a tightening in the polls. While Clinton’s lead over Trump has dropped, most polls show she has regained a few points in the last few days leading up to the Nov. 8 election.
Clinton has an average lead of 3.2 points, according the the latest RealClearPolitics average. Although her lead is up from a few days ago, overall, it’s a notable drop considering that on Oct. 18, Clinton held an 8-point advantage over Trump.
The final week of the presidential campaign has seen Trump tighten the race after his numbers plummeted following a host of sexual assault allegations. In the past two weeks, Trump has regained some momentum. Is it enough to change the trajectory of the race? Most election predictors don’t think so.
Who’s predicting a win for Democrats or Republicans? Here’s a look at several political pundits’ expectations for the end of the night.
Cook Political Report
Charlie Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report, expects Clinton to take the Oval Office. Cook said a path to victory for Trump was “barely visible.”
Cook noted a Trump win would require capturing all 24 states carried by Mitt Romney in 2012 including North Carolina, which is tight; Nebraska, which is also close; Iowa, which is likely; Nevada, which appears doubtful given the early vote; Ohio, where Trump has the edge; and Florida, which is also very close. Then he would need to win Maine and finally New Hampshire, which is also extremely tight. As Cook wrote, he needs all eight to hit 270 electoral votes.
Cook believes Clinton’s win was sealed by a combination of presidential debate performances and Trump’s controversies, including a string of sexual assault allegations.
As Cook wrote, “When we look back on this race, we are likely to see a combination of the first debate and the taped conversations of Trump’s lewd and loutish remarks about women as the seminal point.”
Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball
University of Virginia Professor Larry Sabato offered his final ‘Crystal Ball’ prediction of which candidate will win the presidency in 2016.
Sabato predicts that Clinton will capture 322 electoral votes, far exceeding the 270 required to be declared the winner.
This is consistent with Sabato’s predictions since March. As Sabato wrote, “we have released a total of 17 Electoral College maps in the Clinton-Trump race. Not even on Clinton’s worst campaign days did we ever have her below 270 electoral votes.”
During an appearance on The Kelly File on Monday, Sabato said if Clinton wins less than his predicted 322 electoral votes, the states Trump could flip would most likely be North Carolina and Florida.
“With 322 [electors], basically Clinton can lose some of her key states and still win,” he explained.
“We now have hundreds of polls in the key battleground states…we’ve got a pretty good sense of how this is going,” Sabato said.
The Rothenburg & Gonzales Political Report
The Rothenburg & Gonzales Political Report also favors the Democratic nominee. Hillary Clinton is projected for 323 electoral votes vs. 197 for Donald Trump.
The report marks Ohio as a pure toss-up, and places Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, and Wisconsin as toss-up states that are leaning Democratic.
Slate’s chief political correspondent, Jamelle Bouie predicts Clinton wins with a 4 point margin, capturing 323 electoral votes.