- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Polling guru Nate Silver says Donald Trump has just a 20 percent chance of defeating Hillary Clinton in November and notes that the former first lady has a lead no candidate has blown in a generation.

In a Wednesday appearance on “Good Morning America,” Mr. Silver put Mrs. Clinton’s chance of winning at 79 percent and said she is leading in almost every poll, both nationally and in swing states.

“Here’s how to think about it: We’re kind of at halftime of the election right now, and she’s taking a 7-point, maybe a 10-point lead into halftime,” Mr. Silver said in an appearance on the ABC program. “There’s a lot of football left to be played, but she’s ahead in almost every poll, every swing state, every national poll.”

Mr. Silver is the director of the polling site FiveThirtyEight and became a national figure when he correctly called all 50 states in the 2008 presidential race, and all but one in 2012, based on his weighted averages of state polls — a “poll of polls” essentially.

He cautioned though, that both the Trump and Clinton campaigns “have a lot of room to grow” and that the 2016 cycle has been the most unpredictable in memory, in part because of Mr. Trump’s rise.

Indeed, Mr. Silver was reminded that he had given Mr. Trump a mere 2 percent chance to win the Republican nomination last August.

“That wasn’t based on looking at polls. Trump was always ahead in the polls, and one big lesson of his campaign is don’t try and out-think the polls and try and out-think the American public,” he said.

But the general election is different. “Trump has never really been ahead of Clinton in the general election campaign. He did a great job of appealing to the 40 percent of the GOP he had to win the election, the primary. [This is] a lot different than winning 51 percent of 100 percent.”

He noted that no general-election nominee since Michael Dukakis in 1988 has ever had as large a lead as Mrs. Clinton now has over Mr. Trump and not gone on to be president.

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