Election forecast: If you think Trump might win, bet Professor Ceiling Cat

October 18, 2016 • 2:30 pm

Here’s Pivit’s latest elecdtion forecast, with a map and their notes. Note the “92.8% chance of Democratic victory.”

Shown below is a forecast for the Electoral Map in the 2016 Presidential election between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton. The prediction is updated daily, between now and election day (Tuesday, November 8).

This forecast is based on data from the Pivit prediction market. Hover over a state to see the individual probability for that state, as well as changes in Electoral College power for that state due to the 2010 census. [JAC: Go to origin site if you want to hover]

You can read about Pivit here and see whether you think it’s realiable. But I’m willing to bet readers (up to 5) $100 against $50 (I pay $100 if Trump wins) that Hillary will win.


And from the reliable site FiveThirtyEight:



Okay, can we please stop filling Facebook with Trump stuff now? He’s already lost. If you think otherwise, bet me!

h/t: Douglas S.


82 thoughts on “Election forecast: If you think Trump might win, bet Professor Ceiling Cat

  1. I don’t think Mr T will win, but I am a little sad because that result will seriously reduce my chance of winning a bet I made a few years ago that the U S won’t make it to 2020 in it’s present form. On the other hand him losing might have the same effect

    1. We made it through the Civil War, the Great Depression, WWII, The Cold War, Vietnam.

      We will muddle through Hil or Mr. T.

      The more history I read (recently of the US in 1776-1780, 1830-1870, and 1932-1950), the more this all sounds like a rerun.

      1. As an apostrophe fundamentalist I am mortified by my non-editable error; as to ‘present form’ basically same states, same constitution. OK it was a long shot

    2. Certainly the whole electoral college thing is surely past its sell-by date! The best solution would be for Mexico to invade from the south & Canada from the north! πŸ˜‰

  2. I’m considering betting you because I have a tendency to lose such bets. In other words, if I take your bet, then Trump is more likely to lose, which is the outcome I’d prefer.

    1. If you’re suggesting that your bet may influence the election’s outcome, you may need to update your Bayesian posteriors on the likelihood that Naturalism is true. πŸ™‚

  3. After a man with mental problems stabbed a socialist member of Parliament while shouting Nazi stuff, British people started claiming that they were not going to vote for Brexit. Nevertheless, they still voted for the UK to leave Europe. I wish I’d bet money on that…
    The fact that people feel too embarrassed to admit in a survey that they support Trump might not stop them voting for him in the privacy of the booth.

    1. This is a near certainty unless Trump damages the down-ballot GOP races, which could well happen.

      I would LOVE for the Senate to go Dem. and listen to the gnashing of teeth and rending of clothing from the GOP.

  4. Trump may go away. But fascist, sexist, ideologues, though uncommon, will rise again and remind us just how many followers they can muster.

    Preach to them at the center of their fear-faith brain centers and you too can make your own thinking-turned-off menace mob.

    1. Yes, the real fear is what happens with all these Trump supporters after the election? He’s already started the conspiracy theory that America’s democracy is a sham. These people aren’t just going to go away.

        1. The demagogue fooling the people is the enemy; the people he fools are his marks.

          Unfortunately, as JC said about the poor (Matthew 26:11), the credulous will always be with us.

          Those who are not fooled, but follow Trump knowingly, are the “deplorables.”

    1. Exactly, and the reason I’m going to keep discussing this until we’re safely past this election. Even 1 in 10 odds of a Trump win are too high for my comfort.

    2. Yeah, it is a matter of getting out to vote. Although it was said here a while ago that a sizable chunk of the people who supported trump in the polls were the sorts of people who do not vote. If so, then Hillary will win by an even larger margin than polls suggest.

    3. +1 Its shocking he got the nomination. And its shocking he is shown prevailing in so many states. Its only the electoral college system of plurality takes all for each state and college allocation by state population that makes Trump win very unlikely. And as voting is not compulsory, complacency and failure of democrats to vote Hilary could still undo the day. If trump loses, the only good thing that could come out of this is a shift in the Republican party to stop narrowly focussing on tax reduction, reduction of social security, foreign wars and stopping abortions
      But please Ceiling Cat no orange Hitler

      1. I don’t find it shocking at all. Trump is the culmination of 50 years of conservative take-over of the Republican Party. They have nurtured the kind of anti-intellectual, religious, dog-whistle racist politics that was on full display during the Republican nomination campaign. He’s just the latest and most blatant example of a electoral base in which stupidity has been encouraged at every opportunity.

        Still, probably only 25 or 30 percent of the country qualifies for this level of idiocy. The slightly more sensible voters who vote (R) out of habit alone are fleeing the Trump train wreck. My prediction is that he loses badly and the Republican Party moves even more to the extreme right, marginalizing themselves further over time.

        1. Yes. Avoiding a Trump presidency is definitely a plus, I might even cry with relief. But the Republican Party is still going to be very prominently mucking up the workings of government. They’ve managed to hold onto Congress for decades, with a couple of brief interludes, and are unlikely to lose both houses in this election.

        2. Well said.

          I would not be surprised to see the GOP split into a tea-baggin’ party (let’s call it the “Patriot Party”) and a center-right party, like the old GOP, pre-Reagan.

          We shall see …

    4. Also, there are the Senate and House races to consider. The pressure needs to be kept up and focused on trying to shift the Senate and House to the Democrats. It ain’t over till the fat lady sings.

  5. I’d say it’s worthwhile to keep piling on Trump. The worse he loses, especially if he ends up having negative coat-tails, the better off the country will be.

  6. If Hillary wins, I’m for a hamstung government. I’ve only seen her be highhanded, ideology driven, greedy, secretive, and prone to seek poor guidance and sign-on to bad decisions. If given free rein, she will bury us. Not as quickly as Trump would, but quickly enough.

    1. I worry there will be American troops in Syria and Russia and the US will use Syria as the location to fight their proxy war.

      1. Russian naval military assets continue to build up in the Med & there are other signs that the billionaire gangster Putin is up to something. It might be Putin is sabre rattling to please his adoring public & distract the pseudo-electorate from hard economic facts at home such as the miserably low price of oil & the Russian reserve budget fund plunging down towards zero.

        Rough times ahead for the Russian people & an invasion somewhere may be just the ticket from Putin’s point of view. I think he’s likely to act in the Ukraine which has a very capable arms industry he would love to control. Russia needs dollars desperately which he’s only going to get via arms exports, but Russia’s own arms industry is creaking with engineers & designers heading elsewhere to earn a decent wage.

        I wouldn’t be shocked if Russia decides to attempt rolling Westward in Europe to secure some neighbours as puppet states – he knows that NATO doesn’t have the unity nor stomach to truly resist a little step to the West…

        1. Russian assets in the Mediterranean would be sitting ducks in the case of full fledged war. Assad and Putin want to get Aleppo and other terrorist hot-spots under control before Hillary takes office and starts doing stupid things.

          Assad, like Saddam and Ghadaffi, is bad, but experience shows that throwing out the bad guys makes things much, much worse.
          If Russia has a base in Syria, remember the US has bases in the UK, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Kuwait, S. Korea, Afghanistan, Iraq, Cuba, Greece, Spain, UAE, Bahrain, Denmark, Honduras, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, Singapore, Turkey, and the Netherlands, not to mention the small fry. The US wanted a base in Crimea, which is about 90% ethnic Russian, but the Russians weren’t born yesterday.

          Putin does indeed have an adoring public, but his popularity has fallen from 80% to 74% in the past year. The popularity of the Russian legislature runs about 25%, about what it does “here”.

          I see no evidence Russia/Putin wishes to control Ukraine or move west. Who wants to move is NATO. Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania oppress their ethinic Russian populations and use backlash to extort the US military presence. Latvia actually has uniformed Nazi parades

          Russia does have a soft place in its heart for the ethnic Russians who are the vast majority of the people of Donetsk and Luganst. They are no different than us with respect to protecting Americans.

          1. I think you have overly simplified things here.

            A couple of things.
            1) Just because people fought along side the Germans does not make them Nazis

            2) I don’t see Russians being oppressed in Latvia (Latvija). I have relatives who are married to Russians. Trust me they are not oppressed.

            3) Rich Russians from Russia are so oppressed they buy up beachfront properties.

            Having said that there are historical activities that Latvians should be aware of, and not repeat. ie

            the SD … Sicherheitsdienst

            But I think it is unwise to confound fighting with Germans against the Russian annexation of Latvia with Nazism.

          2. Large slabs of the population of the baltic states were sent off to Siberia when the Russians were in control – and they are not ethnically russian areas – the russians are relatively recent and came as part of Russian expansion.

          3. “I see no evidence Russia/Putin wishes to control Ukraine or move west.”

            In 2013, did you see evidence that Russia/Putin would attack Ukraine and grab land? Russia is notoriously unpredictable, but regarding it as an aggressor is generally a safe bet.

      2. In Russia? Never. American ruling elite is afraid of confronting Russia. As I like to repeat, it is so afraid that it even refuses to sell arms to Ukraine.
        As for American troops in Syria, it would be a good thing, but it also won’t happen, because Putin has already declared Assad’s Syria his darling, and US ruling elite is too scared of Putin (see above).
        We would probably see more action if Syrian refugees were flooding America, but they are flooding Europe.

        1. I think a hawkish Hilary will drive Putin a little crazy and I expect to see US troops in Syria just based on who she is.

    2. Would that Hillary were a bit more ideologically driven; she is the ultimate fence-straddling triangulator.

      With some of your other criticisms, I agree.

  7. He hasn’t *lost* until complacent Democrats (or other sane people) *actually* vote. And no, I will not stop with the anti-Trump stupidity. (MY cat says “Go for it!”)

    America already lost when he got the nomination. Trump is not going away. He will just continue to be himself and rake in money from the gullible.

    1. Well, we can certainly hope that he goes away politically after being publicly made a loser and loser to “a girl” as well.

      It is unprecedented that he is whining about losing — before he even loses!

      1. *Everything* about Trump in politics is unprecedented. Win or lose, we are all in the unenviable position of having to listen to him after the election.

        He will either crow about winning (and how he “did it his way” without the help of the Republican party) or grouse about his shabby treatments. He may not even concede. (Only a loser would admit defeat.)

    2. In reply to SA Gould: I agree. I’m not going to relax until the inauguration of Hillary Clinton. I plan to vote Saturday and after that I plan to work to make sure every last Democratic vote in my county is cast. Complacency is certainly the enemy. Thanks to low turnout in 2014 I live in a state with a Republican Gov and Republican legislature. My state is now saddled with a bunch of crackpot laws and ideas and I’m left with no representation – Republicans in state and local races are running unopposed in my district.

      I don’t share the Hillary hatred of some on this site, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be doing all I can after the election to keep her moving leftwards.

  8. The only thing to start betting or predicting is how much longer does the republican party have. I think by the end of the next mid elections it will be pretty much gone.

    Most of the maps right now show Hilary winning easily. These things tend to free fall once the landslide is known so the final count could be much worse. One map had it 341 to 197 at this time. Other maps still show lots of unknowns as high as 94. Those are too conservative. If we see the trump total dip as low as 150 we will see congress going as well.

  9. As a Canadian I can only worry from across the border about the USA election results, since they will have consequences for the rest of us.

    Trump as President is obviously insane.
    But I have to say, given the ratcheting up of rhetoric and the tinderbox scenario that seems to be happening between Russia and the USA, I’m very nervous about Hillary’s election as well, given she seems to have a reputation for Hawk-like foreign policy.

    1. I believe you are right. But if Hilary has learned anything with all this experience she seems to have, it should be that hawkish ways with foreign policy is a sure way to have failure in your domestic plans and policies. As an American I have seen this time after time. Big military spending and no taxes is the death of this country.

    2. Hillary can trend a bit neocon. But she’s unquestionably smart and has a clear-eyed view of international relations. Given recent history (and absent some extreme provocation), no sane president (which obvs excludes her opponent) is going to commit American troops to foreign soil, except in a strictly advisory role.

    3. As a fellow Canadian, I regard our neighbours as having two real choices: a plutocratic warmonger, or a boorish fascist (assuming you can take what he says seriously, which is debatable).

    4. The tinderbox-like appearance is due to Obama capitulating to Russia. Aggressors are always emboldened when their opponents are meek. A hawk-like US president would calm things down.

    1. Agreed. I’ll take a 15 to one bet, not a 2 to one one.
      The only way Trump is going to win is by complacency: we’re so sure Clinton will win, we don’t have to go out to vote….

  10. Right after the GOP convention, I got some action down at nice odds for Trump to get fewer than 200 electoral votes. I’m counting on Florida and NC to go for Clinton (as well as Iowa and possibly AZ). Nate Silver already has the first three leaning blue, and the last at the tipping point.

  11. I met a woman in a bar in Traverse City MI a couple of weeks ago who claimed to be Gary Johnson’s cousin and wanted to bet me that he would pull a surprise win. Fivethirtyeight currently rates Evan McMullin’s chances of electoral votes as three times higher than Johnson – perhaps I should have taken her money, but I’m not giving you mine πŸ™‚

    I note that while Fivethirtyeight is more open to doubt than Pivit, hence the lower % chance of a win, they are still suggesting around 345 EC votes for Hilary in their polls only model and 328 in polls-plus.

    Perhaps more significant the chances of the Dems taking the senate is now over 77% in their model compared to only just over 50% not too long ago. That would help enormously. If only that we wouldn’t have to keep listening to Mitch McConnell whine on!

  12. Looking on from across the Atlantic I can’t help wondering if one of the campaigns is holding back another ‘revelation’ about the other candidate’s suitability for office. One that they will pitch just before the vote for maximum effect.

    It’s seems like it has been that sort of campaign already.

    1. Yes, that element has certainly added a thick layer of tension and anxiety to this cycle. Every day it feels like we’re waiting for new bombshell revelations that will shake everything up again. Serenity now! (insanity later)

      This is the infotainment/reality TV-ization of our election politics. “The winner of this season is…” cut to commercial. “We have the results right here…you are NOT the president!” Audience goes crazy.

      1. “And the President is…” over-long pause filled with doom laden music, switching between close-ups of the candidates faces, dragging out the tension… commercial break for Wall Street banks and hotel chains…

  13. It occurs to me.

    By no small margin, Hilary is both the weakest and most-hated candidate the Democrats could have put forward.

    When Trump loses to her, and especially if her coattails give the Senate to the Democrats, an awful lot of diehard conservatives are going to be absolutely furious with Trump for blowing what should have been a really easy job.

    Think of how Democrats incorrectly blame Nader for costing Gore the election…now realize that Trump really is costing the Republicans a Clinton presidency, and spectacularly so.

    Sure, his diehard supporters will stand by him…but the contempt that gets heaped on him and them from conservatives will be huge.

    The actual smart money is to go short on any commercial brand with “Trump” in the name. Democrats already won’t be staying in any of his hotels, and Republicans soon won’t, either.



  14. I certainly will not un-clench my sphincter until AFTER the victory is called for Hillary. This election has energized me more than any before to push for a total end to the current Republican party.

    While I am not a parent, I look around at many friends raising daughters and can’t imagine bringing up girls and young women with a president like Trump. “He’s our leader, honey, and he’s said horrible things about women, but it’s okay because that’s just how men talk about women.” Nope. No way. Unacceptable.

    Much better to live in a society where young women and girls grow up feeling like they can accomplish anything, even being president.

    In some ways I see this election as a referendum on the future path of the country. Do we want to move forward or backward? Browsing conservative forums I’ve noticed many mentions of people claiming that if Hillary wins (who they hate with a white hot passion even more than Obama), they will be giving up on trying anymore. This could be the point of a significant cultural shift.

  15. I have challenged eight Republicans since at least June to bet $100, them taking Trump and me taking Hillary. Not one did it, even when the polling got close.

  16. Well, I wanted to take this, but my wife didn’t let me. πŸ™
    Just in case you are wondering about my logic: If Hillary wins, the $50 would not be a huge increase in my monthly expenses, but if Orange Hitler wins, then $100 would probably buy a very fine bottle of wine to drown my sorrows…

    Instead, I think I’ll just spend the $50 on a guaranteed bottle of wine for election night, and try to keep the wife happy. Sorry.

    That leads me to two important questions:
    (1) What wine?
    (2) Given that I don’t believe in Gods, would it be morally wrong to pray, just in case?

  17. I will take the bet, quite seriously. I tend to lose bets, and $50.00 seems a small price to pay to ensure that we don’t elect a tyrant to the presidency. And if I prevail, that hundred should be enough to let me drink myself to death.

  18. With the way he’s been talking I’m worried either way. Or at least curious about what will happen. Regardless, I’ll be voting early.

  19. I’ve bet Dr. Coyne. The smartass in me says I can’t lose. Either I win $10.00, or I get to live in a slightly less threatening world. (I’m Canadian)

    I still believe that Trump will win the national popular vote, but lose the electoral college.

    That assumes the left actually gets out of the house to vote.

  20. I have lived in the South for nearly 50 years. I recently moved to Georgia and this is the first election in a long time where my vote may actually count. I know this electoral map has Georgia has as solidly Republican but I have a feeling we just might be able to turn it Blue for this one election. Unless something changes drastically between now and November 8th, I think Hillary will get 300+ electoral votes. It’s important that voters renounce Trumpism loudly from the voting booth.

  21. According to 538, the odds are roughly 10:1 in Hillary’s favor, and Sam Wang at election.princeton.org is right now quoting about 50:1, and you’re offering 2:1? You should be running a casino in Vegas.

  22. I’m no cartographer, but from the looks of that electoral map, it appears the Canadians have been encroaching on the 49th parallel. That’s probably where they plan to build their wall if Trump wins, turn the contiguous 48 into one great big FEMA camp. Probably make us pay for the damn thing, too.

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