Professor Helmut Norpoth of Stony Brook University probably makes as many daily mistakes as the rest of us, but his political prediction model is nearly infallible. Norpoth’s model has called the presidential election correctly 96.1% of the time going back to 1912. It’s only error came in 1960, when John F. Kennedy used the novel power of television to squeak past Richard Nixon.
And if that model got it right this time, Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.
“I know that if you look at the polls right now, that’s not what the polls are saying,” admitted Norpoth on the Lou Dobbs Show. “But polls are how people feel today, and the election is not for another two and a half months.”
According to Norpoth’s model, Trump has an 87% chance of defeating Hillary Clinton in November. That’s down from the model’s original forecast, which gave Trump a 97% chance of victory, but hey, them’s still bettin odds.
On the other hand, what about those polls? Everywhere you turn, it feels like the sky is crashing down on Trump’s once-invincible campaign. After the Democratic National Convention and the concurrent Khan Family Fiasco, Trump’s numbers have dropped into the danger zone in survey after survey. Conservative media outlets have questioned the authenticity of those polls, but you have to admit, sometimes it feels like we’re whistling through the graveyard. Let’s not be Karl Rove in 2012, denying reality even after the networks have called the race.
That doesn’t mean we give up.
In fact, reality is looking better every day. A new Zogby Analytics online poll shows Hillary leading Trump by only two percentage points among likely voters. Hillary is still on top with 38% of the vote, but Trump is hot on her heels with 36% in a contest that includes Jill Stein and Gary Johnson. Trump would have to pull off a miracle to overcome some of the national polling deficits we’ve seen recently, but if this poll is the truth, he’s still very much in this thing.
It’s not always easy to keep up a constant stream of enthusiasm for a presidential contest that has been going on since (roughly) the beginning of time, but we’re almost at the finish line. The choice to be made remains as stark as ever: Do we continue down Obama’s path of spineless statism or do we restore this country to its full greatness and beyond?
That’s a fork in the road worth staying awake for.