Published at 2:01AM
After a year (or more) of debate and discussion over the issues in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign, the votes have finally begun. And they will continue for the next few months as state after state conducts its primary elections.
With so many candidates starting the race, there has been as much attention to the polls predicting the election outcomes as there has been to the issues that differentiate the candidates. Just since the beginning of February, there have been more than 15 polls of Republican voters in South Carolina alone. But instead of clarifying the picture, each poll has muddied the waters just a little, with most polls reporting slight differences from previous polls.
To help clarify the picture, 1World’s research team, led by Chief Research Officer (and University of South Carolina Professor) Dr. Augie Grant, has conducted an analysis that combines the results of 15 polls conducted among South Carolina voters since February 1. First, the results from each poll were weighted to adjust for sample size and response rate. These results were then adjusted to account for individual candidate trends, projections of voter participation, and allocation of undecided voters.
The result is a projection of the results of Saturday’s Republican Primary election. As a combination of weighted results that includes projections regarding undecided voters and short-term trends, the margin of error can’t be determined. What you have is a simple, numerical projection of the final South Carolina vote count.
Let’s look at the projected results. 1World projects that Donald Trump will easily earn the most votes with 33 percent, but his margin of victory will be lower than many expect. In a surprising turn, Marco Rubio will ride his upward trend to a solid number two finish, with 20 percent of the vote. Ted Cruz should be close behind in third place, with 19 percent of the vote. John Kasich is projected to finish in fourth, with a respectable 12 percent of the vote. Jeb Bush will be close behind in fifth place with 10 percent of the vote, and Ben Carson will finish in last place among the major candidates with 6 percent of the vote. Of course, a slew of less prominent candidates and a few that have dropped out of the race will also split about one percent of the vote. (Note that totals add up to 101 percent because of rounding.)
If you’re intrigued, check out our visualization of all this data. By the way, if you’re interested in the Democratic race in South Carolina, stay tuned–the 1World prediction for that race is coming next week.