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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 29th July 2016 > DONALD TRUMP CAN WIN. REALLY


The country’s Hispanic population is growing, and he’s behind in the polls, but the Republican does have a path to victory


THERE’S A GOOD chance you’ve heard of Nate Silver. After getting his B.A. in economics at the University of Chicago in 2000, Silver took a job as an economic consultant with KPMG, the consulting company, but quit after a couple of years and made good money playing online poker. He also came up with a widely applauded method for predicting the performance of Major League Baseball players. His mathematical model, dubbed PECOTA (Player Empirical Comparison and Optimization Test Algorithm), made him a Moneyball-style legend.

Because Silver’s father is a political scientist, it seemed natural that the bespectacled statistician would turn these Freakonomics-like sensibilities to elections, using the same data analysis that brought him success in baseball. In the 2008 presidential election, he called the winner in 49 states, and he went 50 for 50 in 2012. His work earned him nerd celebrity, TED Talks and a New York Times blog that has since migrated to a website under the ESPN umbrella. Its name——comes from the number of Electoral College votes necessary to win the presidency.

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