How Wentz may decide the presidency

If you’ve been following the presidential election campaign and have grown tired of the rancorous rhetoric, absurd analysis and pretentious pronouncements, take a break and indulge in election oddsmaking.

In fact, if you read further, you’ll learn how Carson Wentz may play a role in who wins the White House by virtue of a football predictor that has proven remarkably accurate since 1940.

For years, a number of websites have been calculating the odds of this or that candidate winning this or that office.

And this year, given the unique presidential election campaign, it has been interesting to follow the rise and fall and rise of each candidates’ chances of winning the White House.

Oddsshark (http://www.oddsshark.com), a clearinghouse for the latest sports and entertainment odds and information, has been tracking and analyzing the odds of every candidate that is or was running for president in 2016.

For example, in June, the odds of Hillary Clinton winning were nearly 100 percent, while Jeb Bush came in second at 4 to 1 odds. Donald Trump was 25 to 1.

Today, the over-under line on Clinton is -650, meaning, if this were a betting game, for every $1 you bet, you’d receive about 15 cents, if Clinton won. Trump is at +400, meaning for every $1 you bet, you’d receive $4, if Trump won.

In other words, Clinton is highly favored to win.

You can review the regularly updated presidential odds page at http://bit.ly/2e4F9Zr.

The New York Times offers “The Upshot,” a page that displays the odds of Clinton or Trump winning the presidency based on a computer model program they run.

Updated almost daily, the page is quite informative as it explains what factors were instrumental in moving the odds up or down.

Right now, the Times gives Clinton a nearly 90 percent chance of winning the White House.

Check out The Upshot at http://nyti.ms/2e4BA5A.

FiveThirtyEight is another site that calculates Clinton and Trump’s chances using a methodology that is explained quite succinctly.

Essentially, the site aggregates poll results from various sources and generates an overall chance of success for both candidates.

Run by Nate Silver, this site has been remarkably close in its predictions to the results in previous presidential elections. Check it out at http://53eig.ht/2dcR8Xi.

The RealClearPolitics site displays numerous polls results from various sources, along with an average of the polls. It doesn’t deal in odds, but does show the polling spread between Clinton and Trump, which makes it easier to track how one candidate is doing against the other.

You can visit the polling page at http://bit.ly/2epEbdQ.

If you want to go a little outside the box, consider these other election predictors that are a bit on the odd side:

  • Washington Redskins. If the team wins its last home game before the election, the party in the White House stays in the White House. This has held true in every presidential election except one since 1940 (the 2000 Bush-Gore election). Here’s the kicker — the last Redskins home game before the election is Oct. 16 — when they play the Eagles, led by North Dakota’s own Carson Wentz. Therefore, if Wentz and the Eagles win, Trump wins the White House. If the Redskins win, Clinton moves in at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
  • Scholastic News Poll. Since 1940, kids across the United States, voting in their own election, have correctly picked the winning presidential candidate except in two instances:1948 Dewey-Truman and 1960 Kennedy-Nixon.
  • Vigo County, Indiana. Voters in Vigo County have correctly picked the winning presidential candidate since 1956. And, with two exceptions, they have correctly picked the winner since 1892 (the misses: 1908 Roosevelt-Taft and 1952 Eisenhower-Stevenson).

Keith Darnay is the Tribune’s online manager and has worked in the online world for more than two decades. His site is at www.darnay.com.

 

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