PayScale Calls the Presidential Election


We’re just days from Election Day, and things are about to get very real.

Who will win the 2016 Presidential Election? Though PayScale is not a political polling company, we are able to mine our data and learn who our users support. And our unique data set allows us to unveil some fascinating insights traditional polling companies are unlikely to uncover. You can see all of our election coverage here.

For this prediction, we surveyed 39,427 respondents between August 4, 2016 through October 28, 2016.

To be fair, respondents to our survey are generally younger and more highly educated than a random sample of all Americans. (The median age of our respondents is 36, while the median age of the U.S. labor force is 41, according to the BLS. And 87 percent of our respondents have at least some college education, compared to 66 percent of the U.S. labor force as reported by the BLS.) But though our predictions differ slightly from other sources, we still align fairly well with the majority of reputable news outlets.

In short, based on data collected from our survey, we expect Clinton will win by a very large margin: 337 Electoral Votes to Trump’s 195. (For reference, Obama beat Romney 332 to 206 in 2012.)

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We also expect Clinton to win the national popular vote, with 49.2 percent. We predict Trump to earn 35.3 percent, and Third-Party candidates will earn 15.5 percent.

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State by state, we differ somewhat from other election predictions, likely because of the comparative youth and high-education level of our respondents, as noted above. Notable differences between our model and others:

  • We have Clinton taking Alaska, which will likely go to Trump.
  • We have Utah going to Independent Candidate Evan McMullin, though most pollsters predict Utah will go Trump.
  • We have Arizona going to Clinton, though most pollsters show the state as a dead heat.

We also have Clinton taking Florida, which would equate to a nightmare scenario for Trump, leaving him with virtually no path forward.

Again, PayScale is not a political polling company, but our unique data set allows us to view the election via a lens most traditional pollsters don’t posses. See all of our election coverage here.

And if you haven’t done it yet, get out there and vote!

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