Why Our 2016 Election Predictions Were Right

Justin's 2016 Election Prediction. Justin's 2016 Election Prediction.

A few days ago, I laid out my 2016 election prediction, and my father added a very similar projection (See maps below). Although all the results have yet to be finalized, it looks as though many of our predictions were right, including our shared prediction of a Trump victory. How did that happen?

The answer is simple: The election was always closer than many polls showed, because most pollsters inappropriately relied on the 2008 and 2012 elections to project voter turnout. From the beginning, I was skeptical of this strategy because of the uniqueness and likability of Barack Obama. It was foolish, for instance, for pundits to assume African American turnout would be similar for an older white woman as it was for the first black president. Pollsters also overestimated turnout for Millennials, who were very unhappy with both candidates but normally vote for the Democrat in high numbers.

The truth is that although the election results are surprising, they shouldn’t be a shock to anyone. The only reason they are is because the media was relying on bad polls and making predictions that didn’t fairly factor in the very obvious issues I mentioned above.

Here is the more detailed analysis from my recent post on this:

So, on to the projections. Below are two sets of projections. One is my own projection and the other is my dad’s projection. You’ll notice they are very similar and both unconventional. After much discussion held over many weeks, I can safely say the reasons behind our projections are similar and can be summarized as follows: (1.) We believe most polls weigh certain voter group too highly, especially for minority voters, who tend to vote for Democrats. We believe minority voter turnout will drop compared to what occurred in 2008 and 2012, and we think the drop will be substantial. (2.) We believe many polls are weighing Gary Johnson’s support too highly. I don’t believe a poll that shows Johnson with 5 points or more is accurate. (3.) Some polls don’t have Jill Stein, the socialist candidate, in the race, especially if she’s not officially on the ballot. However, she will get SOME votes in every state, and almost every single one will be taking support away from Mrs. Clinton. (4.) The enthusiasm amongst Trump supporters is much stronger than amongst Clinton supporters. This is evidenced by the large event turnout Trump has had throughout the campaign, including recently in key swing states such as New Hampshire and Florida. (5.) We believe there are hundreds of thousands and probably millions of voters who are scared to admit they are voting for Donald Trump, due to his offensive comments about women, his reputation in the media, and other similar factors. We think this is worth about 2 percentage points in the polls. Combined with polling we believe to inappropriately apply 2008/2012 models, we believe the polling could be off by as much as 3-4 points in some states, including in Pennsylvania, which Barack Obama won with only 52 percent of the vote. This effectively means if a poll is tied or close to tied (remember that there is a margin of error in every poll), we are generally going to give Trump a slight advantage.

Here is my predicted result, posted on November 7:

Justin’s 2016 Election Prediction:

Justin’s Map File: http://thenewrevere.com/?attachment_id=24013

Actual Results, as of early morning November 9, assuming Trump wins Arizona:

Actual 2016 Election Results, as of Nov. 9

Dad’s 2016 Election Prediction:

Dad's Election Map

Justin Haskins
About Justin Haskins (178 Articles)
Justin Haskins is currently the executive editor and a research fellow at one of the nation’s leading free-market think tanks. Opinions here are his own. Justin graduated summa cum laude from the University of Richmond (Richmond, VA) in 2010. Justin also graduated from Regent University (Virginia Beach, VA) in 2011 with an M.A. in government with a focus on international relations and again in 2015 with an M.A. in journalism. Haskins is a columnist for Townhall.com and has been published over 200 times in major digital and print publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, New York Post, FoxNews.com, U.S. News and World Report, Forbes, Breitbart, the National Review, The Blaze, The Hill, The Daily Caller, The Washington Times, the Washington Examiner, the American Thinker, Human Events, Reason, The American Spectator, the Providence Journal, Yahoo! Sports, and Red Alert Politics. His writing has also been featured by The Rush Limbaugh Show, Drudge Report, Real Clear Politics, The Weekly Standard, and Fox News’ Fox Nation.
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