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Graefe, Andreas (2016): Issue-handling beats leadership: Issues and Leaders model predicts Clinton will defeat Trump. In: Research & Politics, Vol. 3, No. 4: pp. 1-5


The Issues and Leaders model predicts the national popular two-party vote in US presidential elections from people’s perceptions of the candidates’ issue-handling competence and leadership qualities. In previous elections from 1972 to 2012, the model’s Election Eve forecasts missed the actual vote shares by, on average, little more than one percentage point and thus reduced the error of the Gallup pre-election poll by 30%. This research note presents the model’s forecast prior to the 2016 election, when most polls show that voters view Republican candidate Donald Trump as the stronger leader but prefer the Democrat’s nominee Hillary Clinton when it comes to dealing with the issues. A month prior to Election Day, the model predicts that Clinton will win by four points, gaining 52.0% of the two-party vote.