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How Did Trump Win "Bigly" in 2016

  • Author(s): Jiang, Ziyi
  • Advisor(s): Handcock, Mark S
  • et al.

Controversial election results are quite common in the US politics. But the election of 2016 will be studied over and over. The victory of Donald Trump startled the American public. Since Trump’s announcement to run, election analysts and pundits had made predictions of Donald Trump’s bleak chance to win. Memes about Donald Trump were circulating all over the internet. People talked about Donald Trump’s controversial public persona. Before the election, few people had taken Trump seriously and certainly had not expected Trump’s victory. Even though Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in 2016, Donald Trump took over the presidency by getting enough electoral votes. The outcome also greatly divided United States as protests broke out around the country. This paper wants to study the success of Donald Trump unraveling the mystery of this election. Instead of doing a traditional political analysis, the paper focuses more on the statistical modeling. The paper will use different statistical models to study Donald Trump’s election vote in over 3000 counties and 50 states and the paper will discuss the relationship between the votes and other demographic, economic, religious, geographic variables. The paper also aims at finding the best model by comparing the effectiveness and limitations between models. Since 2020 election is coming, this study will also be helpful for the further study of presidential election of 2020.

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