The election has reached its final days, and people are ready to cast their votes and see who our next president will be.
There are plenty of supporters of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton who believe there’s no way the other candidate will win. But as many more polls showed Clinton ahead, more of those calls have been directed at Trump.
In fact, FiveThirtyEight, a news site that compiles data on politics, economics and sports, has Trump’s current chances of winning the election at 33 percent. Those are the highest odds in his favor since September; his low point was on Oct. 17 with only a 12 percent chance of beating Clinton.
But for those who still think a Clinton victory is a sure thing, not so fast. FiveThirtyEight had a prediction on the Chicago Cubs’ path to victory in the World Series, and it was significantly worse than Trump’s chances.
After Chicago lost game four to Cleveland, who then led the series 3-1, FiveThirtyEight gave the Cubs only a 15 percent chance of winning the World Series. Given that the Cubs won the Series Wednesday night, now people are using that model to point to the possibility of a Trump win.
Even Nate Silver, the founder of FiveThirtyEight, made a joke about the numbers.
And, of course, Trump’s people weren’t the only ones linking their hoped-for victory to the Cubs’ win.
FiveThirtyEight and Silver were lauded for their predictions of the 2012 election between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Silver correctly called the percentages of votes in 48 out of 50 states within his margin of error, giving him a 96 percent success rate. Given that he assigned a 95 percent success rate to his predictions, the model was indisputably impressive.
But Silver damaged his reputation in the primaries this year when he gave Trump only a 2 percent chance of winning the Republican nomination. In May, Silver admitted to the “big mistake” and said he “acted like a pundit” and ignored numbers in favor of subjective odds about Trump, which resulted in the odds being lower than they should have been. Silver has since relied on polls and numbers for the general election.