As the 2016 presidential election gets closer, political discussions are getting more and more heated as people try to figure out whether Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will win and take Barack Obama's place come Inauguration Day. But one of the most accurate ways to predict the results of the election is statistician Nate Silver's site, Five Thirty Eight. Silver is known for successfully forecasting which candidate will win states before Election Day, and it wouldn't be surprising if he was on the money yet again this year. Of course, there's no way to make the call with 100 percent accuracy before Nov. 8, but if you trust him, America is about to elect its first female president. Silver predicts Clinton will win by a landslide, and his numbers between her and Trump aren't even close.
This year, Five Thirty Eight offers up three different types of forecasts: one based on polls plus other factors that can make or break an election, one based on polls only, and another that shows what the outcome would be if the election was today instead of next month. All three forecasts predict that there's more than an 80 percent chance that Clinton will win — whoa!
The site also predicts both electoral votes and the popular vote. If Five Thirty Eight is right, Clinton will receive about 330 electoral votes while Trump will get about 207. The popular vote will be much closer, as Five Thirty Eight says Clinton will win with 49.1 percent of votes to Trump's 43.4, with the remaining votes going to Gary Johnson and other candidates.
So how does this forecast actually work? A guide shared on Silver's site explains that predictions take a lot of different factors into account besides just state and national polls. There's a lot to be considered here, like what has happened in other elections historically, how the current economy is performing, and demographics. After poll data is gathered, it's adjusted for error, and the election is simulated many times. It's a pretty complicated process, which is understandable; this isn't exactly an easy task!
But even if you're happy with the turnout Silver is predicting, that doesn't mean you shouldn't get out there and vote anyway. These results kind of depend on Americans getting out there and putting their rights to use. Plus, you want that sticker, don't you?