Primary Model That Predicted Trump Victory in 2016 Gives Him 91% Chance to Win in 2020

By Bailey Duran | July 13, 2020 | 11:15am EDT
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

(CNS News)—The Primary Model, invented by Stony Brook University Prof. Helmut Norputh, a political scientist, accurately predicted a Donald Trump win in 2016 and now the model says Trump has a 91% chance of winning in 2020.

The model, which (retroactively) has been accurate in 25 out of 27 elections since 1912, states that Trump will likely gather 362 electoral votes and Joe Biden, the presumed Democrat nominee, will earn 176 votes. The model gives Biden a 9% chance of winning the election.

Norputh designed the Primary Model in 1996. Since then, it has correctly predicted all but one out of the six presidential elections that occurred -- George W. Bush in 2000.


To further test the accuracy of his model, Norputh tested it against all elections that have occurred since presidential primaries began. The Primary Model would have “correctly predicted the outcome of all but two president elections in 108 years,” Norputh states on his website.

Norputh says his model is successful because it does not include data taken from opinion surveys and polls.

It “places an emphasis on how much enthusiasm candidates are able to generate early in the nominating process.”

How exactly does the model work?


“The model provides a long-term forecast of the election outcome based on electoral histories, plus the candidates’ performance in early primaries,” according to  “In particular, it uses the vote of the two most recent elections as well as the candidates support in primaries as predictor variables in a linear multiple regression model, which has been estimated based on data from all elections since 1912.”

The model correctly predicted that Donald Trump would win in 2016 despite nearly all of the polls, opinion surveys, and news media that favored Hillary Clinton to win.

The Primary Model predicted a Trump victory in 2016 as early “as early as March 7 that year, putting his chance of winning at 87%.”  


According to Norputh and his model’s predictions for 2020, it does not seem the coronavirus has hindered the president’s chances to win re-election.

The Primary Model gives President Trump a 91% chance at re-election against Democrat Joe Biden. It goes on to predict that President Trump will have 362 electoral votes while Biden will have 176.

Bear in mind that Norpoth’s forecasting is not 100% guaranteed. This is a political model based on political variables. The model was wrong two times.

“The misses are 1960, one of the closest presidential elections, and 2000, when the late count in Florida handed Bush the victory; still Al Gore wound up winning the popular vote,” according to the Primary Model website.   

(Screenshot, YouTube)
(Screenshot, YouTube)

“Winning the early primaries is a major key for electoral victory in November,” states the site.  “On the Democratic side, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders split the primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina while Trump handily won the Republican Primary in New Hampshire (the GOP primary in South Carolina was cancelled this year).”

“What favors Trump in 2020 as well is the cycle of presidential elections operating for nearly 200 years,” states the model website. “After one term in the White House the incumbent party is favored to win re-election unlike the situation when it has held office for two or more terms.”

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