History, 'Mock Con' tradition point to Trump

Posted at 4:18 PM, Feb 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-23 18:28:56-05

Calling out a protestor in Las Vegas, Donald Trump is commanding attention and delegate votes.

"I'd like to punch him in the face,” said Trump at a Monday rally.

Right now, history is on his side.

"It's true that a Republican that has not won New Hampshire and South Carolina has not been successful at getting the nomination. That is true, but it's also true that it's still a long way to go even though the train is pretty far down the track,” USF Professor Dr. Susan McManus said.

It's not just history working in Trump's favor.

It's tradition.

At a liberal arts university in Virginia, Washington and Lee, a student mock convention picked him as the incumbent nominee.

"We do a serious exercise of trying to make a successful prediction, and that's way more than reading polls,” said Washington and Lee University Professor Bob Strong.

Washington and Lee's "Mock Con" is billed as the most accurate in the nation. Students have predicted correctly 19 of 25 election cycles, only making two mistakes since 1948.

Then there's technology giving us insight, for what it's worth.

As the Nevada caucus unfolds, we're getting a look at some of the Google numbers, what people are searching in Nevada when it comes to Republican candidates. Donald Trump gets more than half the searches. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are neck and neck at 18 and 19 percent.

But USF’s Dr. McManus says no one can predict in an unpredictable election year -- not at all not when you have a candidate like Trump in the race.

"But is this a usual election? Not particularly,” she said.

She also says Florida's March 15 Presidential Preference Primary will be another key forecaster to keep an eye on.

And it's not over until voters get their say.

"But in the end, there's only one thing that matters -- and that's people voting, and that's the hardest thing to predict of anything," said McManus.