Statistical models, betting markets, and the Internet weigh in on the battle for the Hoosier State.
Front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, following resounding wins in New York and several northeastern states over the past two weeks, are creeping ever closer to the magic delegate numbers they need to clinch their parties’ presidential nominations (1,237 for Republicans, 2,383 for Democrats). Indiana, whose primary voters go to the polls on Tuesday, is setting up as a must-win for Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Here are five credible predictions on who will win.
PredictWise: Trump and Clinton
The research project led by David Rothschild, an economist at Microsoft Research in New York City which aggregates betting-market data, has successfully predicted the winner in 66 of 77 individual state nominating contests it’s covered so far this year. As of Sunday PredictWise gave Trump a 90 percent chance of winning in Indiana, up from 69 percent the day before and as low as 31 percent earlier in the month.
Cruz actually led in prediction markets for Indiana until the New York primary on April 19, which Trump won resoundingly. Since then, the Texas senator has attempted to shake up the race by forming a short-lived pact with Ohio Governor John Kasich to divvy up the remaining major primary states (under the plan, Cruz would get Indiana), naming former HP executive Carly Fiorina as his running-mate, and landing an endorsement from Indiana Governor Mike Pence. Despite his efforts, Cruz’s Hoosier State chances have fallen from a high of 64 percent on April 7 to 47 percent on April 19, when Trump first took the lead, to 9 percent on Sunday. Kasich, the popular governor of a neighboring state, has never broken into double-digits.
On the Democratic side, Clinton was favored as of Sunday with a 76 percent chance. Sanders was initially favored 67-33 percent on April 7 before ceding the lead to Clinton a few days before the New York primary, and now has a one-in-four chance of pulling out a win.
RealClearPolitics: Trump and Clinton
As of Sunday, the poll aggregating site had Trump ahead in Indiana by 4.1 points, on average, and up by as much as 15 points in one recent poll. Cruz was favored in one of seven polls listed on the site, though, which showed him holding a 16-point lead over Trump. As for the Democrats, Clinton enjoyed a slightly more comfortable 6.2-point lead.
Bing: Trump and Clinton
With a roughly 82 percent accuracy rating so far this cycle, Bing Predicts also looks for a Trump win in Indiana, and estimated he’ll carry almost 44 percent of the vote, according to the “machine-learned predictive model” that the Microsoft search engine created. It parses data from polls, prediction markets, search engine queries, and social media posts.
Clinton, meanwhile, was projected to win by a 12-point margin over Sanders.
FiveThirtyEight: Trump and Clinton
FiveThirtyEight, run by former New York Times stats guru Nate Silver, on Sunday gave Trump a 94-percent chance of winning Indiana after looking at recent state polls. His chances there actually dip to 69 percent when national polls and endorsements are factored into the site’s so-called polls-plus forecast. That model favored Cruz as recently as Saturday, likely due to the Pence endorsement. Meanwhile, Kasich had a less-than-1-percent chance of winning Indiana under either scenario.
For the Democrats, Clinton had at least an 88 percent chance of winning. The average of FiveThirtyEight’s simulated results, when factoring in national polls and endorsements, showed Clinton winning by around 11 points.
Ballotcraft: Trump and Clinton
This fantasy politics game, founded by two Stanford grads, has thousands of players who use fake money to buy “shares” in candidates. It has correctly predicted 66 of the 77 individual state nominating contests it has covered so far. As of Sunday, shares of Trump were worth around $0.57, meaning his chances of winning Indiana were roughly 57 percent and suggestive of a closer race than several of the other predictors. The site’s users gave Cruz, who was favored as recently as April 25, a 41.5 percent chance of winning, down from 46 percent on Saturday.
On the Democratic side, the race has been tightening, with Clinton’s chances of winning falling from nearly 67 percent on April 20 to 54 percent as of Sunday, when Sanders sat at a still-competitive 46 percent.