US pollsters predict a Hillary Clinton win as voting starts

Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally on Independence Mall in Philadelphia on Nov 7, 2016.
Hillary Clinton at a campaign rally on Independence Mall in Philadelphia on Nov 7, 2016. PHOTO: NYTIMES

With just hours to go before majority of the polling stations open in the United States, The Straits Times rounds up the opinion polls to see where the presidential candidates stand on the last night of a dramatic election season.

Poll aggregators

Poll aggregators, which collate the responses from various polls to put a probability value on candidates' chances of victory, are squarely in the camp of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

But they vary wildly in how certain they are of Mrs Hillary Clinton's success.

As of Tuesday (Nov 8) morning Singapore time, the Princeton Election Consortium stands by its assessment it is almost certain - saying it is more than 99 per cent likely - that Mrs Clinton, the Democratic Party's candidate, will romp home as president.

The Huffington Post's prediction was within a hair's breadth of that, giving Mrs Clinton a 98.2 per cent probability of a win.

The New York Times forecasts an 84 per cent chance of victory.

FiveThirtyEight's latest numbers give her a more modest 71.4 per cent chance of winning the presidential election.

Statistician Nate Silver, who helms the FiveThirtyEight model, has come under fire for what other commentators think is an excess of pessimism and an overcautious analysis of the electoral landscape.

Bookies' favourite

Even though punters are mostly placing their bets overseas, due to American regulations on having a flutter on election results, Mrs Clinton is still the bookies' favourite.

For example, Betfair Exchange is offering odds that give her an 83 per cent chance of clinching the presidency.

Nationwide polls

Mrs Clinton is up in most nationwide polls, including those that ask respondents to evaluate a four-way race between Mrs Clinton, Republican nominee Donald Trump, Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson and the Green Party's Jill Stein.

She has an average lead of 3.3 points in a four-way race, with support from 45.3 per cent of likely voters, according to RealClearPolitics.

The Monmouth University Polling Institute is even more optimistic, giving Mrs Clinton a six-point lead with a 50 per cent share of the expected vote.

Only two opinion polls give the advantage to Mr Trump.

The four-way model in the IBD/TIPP poll - run by Investor's Business Daily and TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence - puts Mr Trump at a two-point lead with 43 per cent of the vote.

In a two-way race between Mr Trump and Mrs Clinton, the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll continues to predict a Trump win, as it has for much of the campaign.

The USC/LA Times poll was criticised in an Oct 12 analysis in The New York Times because of the heavy weightage it gives to some outlying poll respondents.

In the inverse of other outlets' projections, this poll places him five percentage points ahead of Mrs Clinton, at 48 per cent.