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Clinton Has an 86% Chance of Winning Tomorrow

By Matthew Chen November 7, 2016

After a bad week, perhaps brought on by a letter to Congress written by the head of the FBI, Clinton's standing seems to have improved. Our final update to the model, made tonight on the eve of the election, shows Clinton with an 86% chance of winning the Electoral College tomorrow.

For context, Cleveland was assigned an 83% chance of winning the World Series when they took a 3-1 lead this fall, and the Golden State Warriors were projected to have an 86% chance of winning the NBA Finals when they had a 3-2 lead this summer. Both teams lost, and the lesson is clear: Clinton might be the favorite, but 2016 has been a year replete with unlikely events, so it would be foolhardy to presume that Trump is out of the running.

While we're very confident that Clinton is the favorite in this election, we're much less confident about how many electoral votes she'll win. Our model shows that she has a roughly 2% chance of winning each of 279, 288, 294, 297, 299, 303, 304 or 308 electoral votes, with 308 electoral votes being the most likely outcome. But a 2% probability is pretty low, and it'd be foolhardy to attempt to figure out which one of those individual outcomes will happen. Instead, we can think of Clinton as having a 18% chance of winning 303 ± 5 electoral votes, or a 33% chance of winning 303 ± 10 electoral votes. 303 electoral votes is certainly enough for a win, but it's clearly unlikely that Clinton will do some of the more outlandish possibilities mentioned earlier this year, like turning Texas (or even Georgia) Democratic.

Instead, we're expecting the electoral map to look like this—or something fairly close to it:

The latest polls we have show Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina as each being almost equally likely to go for Trump as to go for Clinton; however, Clinton would still win even if Trump won all three of those highly contested swing states. For Trump to win, he would likely need to win all three of those states plus one or two more—most likely Pennsylvania or Michigan, or New Hampshire and Colorado, according to our model. Here's what the map would look like, in the most likely case leading to a Trump win:

Until tomorrow, then.
In the meantime, go vote!