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Stony Brook professor: If Donald Trump gets Republican nomination, he'll win presidency

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to his

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to his supporters at his election night watch party at the Executive Court Banquet facility in Manchester, N.H. on Feb. 9, 2016. Trump handily won the New Hampshire Republican primary. Credit: Getty Images / Joe Raedle

If Donald Trump wins the Republican presidential primary, he is almost a shoo-in to win the presidency this November, a Stony Brook University professor predicts.

Professor Helmut Norpoth’s statistical model, which looks at a candidate’s performance in their party’s presidential primary and factors in the broader electoral cycle, shows that Trump has a 97 percent chance of beating Hillary Clinton in the general election, reported Stony Brook’s newspaper The Statesman. His odds rise to 99 percent against Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The professor of political science presented his 2016 forecast at the SUNY Global Center in Manhattan on Monday.

“Trump beats Hillary 54.7 percent to 45.3 percent. This is almost too much to believe,” Norpoth said as he showed his forecast for that potential matchup, using data from the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. “The probability of that [outcome] is almost complete certainty, 97 percent. It’s almost ‘Take it to the bank.’”

The model’s high confidence in a Trump win is due to his relatively high success so far, Norporth said. The model also factors in the electoral cycle, which makes it difficult for a party to hold the White House three terms in a row, as the Democrats are trying to do in 2016.

Of course, if this presidential campaign has been anything so far, it’s been unpredictable.

Norporth, however, has applied his primary model to elections going back to 1912 — and it has forecast the popular vote winner every time except for 1960. (You can read more about his work here and here.)

The Stony Brook professor’s forecasts are much closer for 2016 matchups involving Texas Sen. Ted Cruz or Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Clinton would have a 55 percent chance of beating them by a narrow margin in the popular vote, while Rubio or Cruz would have a 60 percent chance of beating Sanders by a small amount, The Statesman reported.

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