According to polling expert Nate Silver, Bernie Sanders is likely to win all of the upcoming 8 states in the race to become the Democratic nominee. Silver boasts a long record of accurate predictions which includes successfully calling the outcomes in 49 of the 50 states in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, for example. As a result of that particular achievement, he was named one of The World’s 100 Most Influential People by Time in 2009.
Currently working at polling organization FiveThirtyEight, Silver has done a remarkable job of predicting state by state who will win in both the Democratic and Republican fields during this election cycle. His credibility took a blow, however, following a win for the rising Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders in the state of Michigan. Silver and his polling organization claimed that Sanders’ opponent – former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton – had a greater than 99% chance of winning the Michigan primary, when in fact Bernie Sanders won the state by 2%.
After that upset, Silver went back through the records and found that only one primary, the 1984 Democratic one in New Hampshire, was on the same scale as the historical Sanders win in Michigan. The whole polling game changed that day, proclaimed many experts in the period that followed the primary.Silver decided to create an entirely different model and formula for predicting the primaries, one which incorporated demographic factors much more.
Using his new method of predicting, Silver would have been able to predict the Michigan caucus far more accurately, as he explains, “Our demographic “retrodiction” for Michigan still has Clinton winning, but only barely — by 3 percentage points, compared with the actual 2-point win for Sanders. Especially under the Democrats’ proportional allocation method, that’s a pretty minor difference.” The difference is even more minor when you incorporate the fact that most polling companies, in the run-up to Michigan had Sanders losing to Clinton by almost 20%.
It is critical to the Sanders campaign that they finally begin to enter a period of sustained victories, if they are to clinch the nomination. Now, however, following a change in Silver’s prediction system, it seems as though Sanders is on track to achieve just that. While Clinton tends to do better in more conservative regions, such as the Deep South, there aren’t many of such places left to vote. The next 8 states to engage in the Democratic nominating process are Arizona, Idaho, Utah, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Silver feels Sanders has a shot at winning all of them.
In Idaho, Nate Silver says that Bernie Sanders has a 75% chance of winning. Similarly, in Utah he has an even greater chance of winning at 82%, in Alaska Sanders is almost certain to win with a 91% chance. Hawaii and Washington are the next two states after that, and according to Silver’s mathematical analysis – Bernie has a 81% and 85% chances of winning. Finally, in Wisconsin, Bernie has a 61% chance of winning and in Wyoming he has an 81% chance of winning.
The only state that I have omitted so far is Arizona, which is on the same date as the Idaho and Utah primaries. In Arizona, according to Nate Silver’s prediction – Bernie Sanders has a 40% chance of winning. These predictions however, were made a couple of weeks ago, before Sanders held multiple rallies in the state, before he invested over 1.5 million dollars in ads and before polls emerged showing Sanders rapidly closing the gap. The incorporation of all these influences means that Sanders has a far better chance of winning Arizona now than he did when Silver’s predictions were made.
Therefore – with the exception of perhaps Arizona – Bernie Sanders looks set to enter a period of successive wins in very important states. Last week, the Sanders campaign claimed that Clinton’s best days are now behind us and according to polling experts such as Nate Silver it seems as though they were right. Sanders fans will hope that winning all of the upcoming 8 states would provide Bernie with sufficient momentum to enable him to win bigger states in the future such as California and New York.
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Table taken from FiveThirtyEight :
|DATE||STATE||CLINTON||SANDERS||SANDERS WIN PROB.|