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Donald Trump on Thursday brushed off polling expert Nate Silver’s forecast showing Hillary Clinton with high odds of besting the Republican presidential nominee in next month’s election.
Speaking to an audience at a town hall-style event in New Hampshire, Trump seemed to dismiss FiveThirtyEight’s election-forecasting model, which currently gives the former secretary of state a 78% chance of winning the White House.
“He didn’t predict us in the primary and he had never called a loser before,” Trump said. “He’s always been on the right side of what happened in terms of, at least, his predictions and he didn’t predict me in the primaries.”
The real-estate mogul also knocked Silver for not speaking to Trump himself, a factor that likely would not be necessary in FiveThirtyEight’s forecast model, which includes an aggregation and adjustment of polls.
“Never seen me. Never spoken to me. Never saw what we did,” Trump told the crowd, referencing his victory over the Republican primary field to become the party’s nominee.
FiveThirtyEight’s model has whiffed on election predictions before, as has Silver himself.
While Silver himself has a much-lauded record of correctly predicting presidential elections, the polling expert admitted that he underestimated Trump in the primary because he questioned the legitimacy of the polling results too much.
He may have had good reason to be skeptical: FiveThirtyEight missed the conservative wave in UK elections in 2015. In that case, the site cited polling error and lack of enough reliable polling data as the root causes for the incorrect prediction.