By DANIEL LLOVERAS
In a wild and chaotic election season, pollsters and statisticians are attempting to do the seemingly impossible: predict the winner of the 2016 presidential election.
National and state polls get the most attention from media organizations, as they are simple ways of communicating how much support the candidates are receiving.
However, political scientists also produce forecast models which may provide a more insightful look into what will happen come election day.
The forecast models incorporate the voting history of each state and hundreds of national and state polls in order to determine how many electoral votes each candidate is likely to receive.
The models are produced by organizations such as The New York Times, FiveThirtyEight, and the Princeton Election Consortium.
According to the forecast models, Hillary Clinton is the overwhelming favorite to be elected president. The Princeton Election Consortium model gives Clinton a 97% chance of being elected. The New York Times says that Clinton is 89 percent likely to win the presidency. The FiveThirtyEight model gives Clinton an 86 percent chance.
When reporting on the 2016 election, individual state and national polls only tell part of the story.
While the forecast models clearly have error and uncertainty, they take hundreds of pieces of information into account to produce an exhaustive look at the presidential race.
When news organizations only report the results of individual polls, they are providing people with incomplete and unreliable information.
In addition to providing poll results, news media outlets should report on the forecast models to make sure people are not receiving skewed interpretations of the presidential race.