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Nate Silver: Trump's Winning Chances Have Increased

| by Robert Fowler
Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpRepublican presidential nominee Donald Trump

The polling group spearheaded by Nate Silver, the statistician who had accurately predicted the electoral results of 49 out of 50 states in the 2012 election, currently projects that the 2016 presidential election would be very close if it were held today.

As of Sept. 21, polling website FiveThirtyEight currently gives Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton a 55.1 percent chance of winning the election. Meanwhile, they give GOP nominee Donald Trump a 44.9 percent chance of victory.

While a lead of roughly 10 percentage points may appear to give Clinton a comfortable edge, the current projections are in stark contrast to how the 2016 election looked just weeks ago.

On Sept. 10, the polling aggregation website projected that Clinton had a 70 percent chance of winning the election, according to The Daily Caller.

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Trump only had a 29.9 percent chance, meaning that the business mogul’s odds of winning that presidential race have jumped by 20 points in less than two weeks.

FiveThirtyEight bases its projections by aggregating polling averages, news reports and predictions on electoral turnout in each state.

If the election were held today, the group projects that Clinton would narrowly win by 45.4 percent to Trump’s 43.9 percent. They predict that Clinton would collect 277.7 electoral votes, passing the threshold necessary to clinch the presidency, while Trump would garner 259.9 electoral votes.

A key battleground state that FiveThirtyEight projects Trump will win is Florida. Ripe with electoral votes, the Sunshine State is one of the primary prizes for any election.

The current prediction that Trump will win Florida could change if the latest state poll proves to be accurate.

On Sept. 20, Monmouth University released new polling data that revealed Clinton led Florida in a four-way race with 46 percent. Trump came in second with 41 percent while Libertarian nominee Gary Johnson lagged in third with 6 percent, CNN reports.

The survey also found that 54 percent of Florida voters viewed Trump’s recent announcement that he believed President Barack Obama was born in the U.S. was a bad political maneuver.

Only 24 percent of respondents believe that Trump was being genuine in his announcement. More polls will have to be released to determine if the GOP nominee’s negative association with the birther movement has hurt him in other key swing states.

Aggregating the last seven national polls released since Sept. 13, Real Clear Politics found that Clinton only leads Trump in a two-way race by an average 1.1 percent.

The majority of those polls were taken during a sustained period of bad press for Clinton -- from questions arising over the Clinton Foundation to her health scare in New York.

The current projection of the 2016 presidential race indicates that the landscape has shifted dramatically compared to just weeks ago. With three presidential debates scheduled between now and election day, the polls will likely shift dramatically again.

Sources: CNN, The Daily CallerFiveThirtyEight, Real Clear Politics / Photo credit: Michael Vadon/Flickr

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