Told you so: Some pro­fes­sors cor­rectly pre­dicted Trump win

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - NATION+WORLD - By Frank Elt­man

MINEOLA » Don­ald Trump is not the only one who can say, “I told you so.”

A few col­lege pro­fes­sors stood up to a tidal wave of pre­vail­ing thought to sep­a­rately pre­dict for months that the New York bil­lion­aire and re­al­ity TV star would pull off one of the big­gest shock­ers in Amer­i­can po­lit­i­cal his­tory.

A po­lit­i­cal sci­en­tist at New York’s Stony Brook University based his pre­dic­tion on a for­mula us­ing pri­mary re­sults and his “pen­du­lum of change” the­ory. A Yale pro­fes­sor tied his pick to eco­nomic fac­tors. And a his­tory pro­fes­sor at Amer­i­can University re­lied on a for­mula he de­vel­oped in the 1980s.

“I had a lot of peo­ple say­ing, ‘This isn’t go­ing to work. You’re go­ing to fall on your face.’ I got emails be­rat­ing me for be­ing an id­iot and ir­re­spon­si­ble,” says Hel­mut Nor­poth, a long­time po­lit­i­cal science pro­fes­sor at Stony Brook.

Nor­poth has suc­cess­fully pre­dicted ev­ery pres­i­den­tial win­ner since de­vel­op­ing the for­mula for the 1996 pres­i­den­tial race. He also used his for­mula to re­view ev­ery pres­i­den­tial elec­tion since 1912, and found the in­di­ca­tors would have ac­cu­rately pre­dicted the out­come ev­ery time ex­cept 1960.

He ac­knowl­edged he har­bored some pri­vate doubts as this year’s con­tentious cam­paign raged on, he never wa­vered pub­licly, even dou­bling down on the pick after Trump’s ex­plo­sive “Ac­cess Hol­ly­wood” video came out.

“I put up a good face,” he says. “But deep down I got a lit­tle un­easy, I can’t deny that.”

Nor­poth says his model is based, in part, on the idea that can­di­dates who ex­cel in pri­maries tend to do bet­ter in the gen­eral elec­tion. He says Trump’s vic­tory and Clin­ton’s de­feat at the hands of Sen. Bernie San­ders in the New Hamp­shire pri­mary was a key in­di­ca­tor for him of the Repub­li­can’s strength.

He also fac­tored in that Barack Obama had held the White House for two terms and es­ti­mated the pen­du­lum could swing Repub­li­can. The only time in the past 30 years that ei­ther party won three straight pres­i­den­tial elec­tions was in 1988, when Repub­li­can Ge­orge H.W. Bush de­feated Demo­crat Michael Dukakis.

Also suc­cess­fully pre­dict­ing a Repub­li­can vic­tory was Yale University pro­fes­sor Ray Fair. He used eco­nomic fac­tors — GDP growth and in­fla­tion — and not the va­garies of ei­ther can­di­date’s per­son­al­ity in his prog­nos­ti­ca­tion.

Amer­i­can University pro­fes­sor Alan Licht­man said he uses 13 fac­tors to as­sess the per­for­mance of the party in power to de­ter­mine whether it will keep the White House. He ex­am­ined pres­i­den­tial elec­tions from 1860 to 1980 to es­tab­lish the fac­tors to de­velop his study. He said the fac­tors this year nar­rowly showed a Repub­li­can would pre­vail.

Licht­man’s suc­cess comes with an as­ter­isk. He has ac­cu­rately cal­cu­lated the win­ner of the pop­u­lar vote in ev­ery elec­tion since 1984, but Al Gore ac­tu­ally lost in the elec­toral col­lege in 2000, as it ap­pears has hap­pened to Clin­ton this year.

“I feel vin­di­cated in a sense, but I had is­sued a qual­i­fi­ca­tion be­cause in Don­ald Trump you had a his­tory-smash­ing can­di­date,” Licht­man says.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.