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2016 Election Projection: Republican Nomination

July 18, 2016

I like to bet money on elections so I can’t afford to be emotional about who I want to win.  I only care about who will win.  In 2012, I won over $5,400 on political bets.

For the Republican nomination in 2016, I predict Trump will win.

There are a number of unique R-nomination factors when compared to the D nomination process, and ALL of them favor Trump.  and give him a disproportionate lead compared to what polls show alone (which is a substantial lead).  Because the R nomination is much more complicated than the D process, in 2012, I built a spreadsheet to model the process.  You can see the spreadsheet here.

Observations / Conclusions:

  • Having more candidates stay in the race longer, especially until March 15th or later, strongly favors Trump.
  • There are a number of winner-takes-all states.  These all favor Trump.
  • There are a number of states with minimum floor requirements, meaning candidates often have to earn 15-20% of the vote to receive any delegates.  A number of states have candidates hovering around 10-17%.  They may get 0% of the delegates instead.  This system strongly favors Trump.
  • By March 15th, Trump will likely have more delegates than all of the other candidates combined plus an additional 25-50%.
  • By March 15th, 60% of the delegates will be decided.  It will be very difficult to candidates who are behind to catch up.  This strongly favors Trump.

Karl Rove wrote a WSJ piece outlining that unless some candidates drop out and their supporters rally around a single non-Trump alternative by March 8th, it’s highly unlikely anyone catch Trump.  I see no indications that Rubio or Cruz will drop out in time.

On March 15th, Trump will likely be substantially ahead in the delegate count and it will be so late in the process that anyone catching him will be a remote chance at best.

The betting markets reflect that Trump is a favorite to win the R nomination by 75% odds.  Interestingly, while Cruz in the #2 candidate in polls with 20%, the markets are putting him at last place with abysmal odds of less than 2%.  Rubio has odds of ~17%.

In the presidential contest, I also predict that Trump will lose to Clinton.

Sidenote:  While the polling data for the R process isn’t nearly as good as the D side, the delegate projections will have a wider margin of error but conclusion that Trump will be the nominee doesn’t change.

(I wrote this about 5 months ago at the same time as the Clinton prediction – I forgot to hit post)

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