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September 16, 2016

NYT Report: Whoever wins Pennsylvania could probably win the presidential election

David Rothschild, a Microsoft Research economist, gave insight into why the state is so important for the candidates in a recent Q&A

Whichever presidential candidate wins Pennsylvania – and currently Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is in the lead – could mean a win for the entire election, according to one expert in an exclusive interview with the New York Times published Friday.

The interview was with David Rothschild, and he's an economist at Microsoft Research who's also in charge of PredictWise which looks at betting markets, like the upcoming general election on Nov. 8.

Rothschild told the newspaper that "Pennsylvania has been the most likely tipping-point state since midsummer" and that whoever will win the state means a more likely shot of winning other swing states.

He explains:

Every day, I run 100,000 simulations of the election. I use the probability of each state going for Clinton or Trump, then I mix that with a correlation matrix that defines the relationships between the states. And every day since late July, Pennsylvania has been the state that most frequently is won by the candidate who wins the election. Currently, there are just 6 percent of scenarios where Clinton wins Pennsylvania but loses the election, and just 3 percent of scenarios where Clinton loses Pennsylvania and wins the election.

Since Pennsylvania is more secure for the Clinton camp than other swing states, it’s unlikely that Clinton loses Pennsylvania and wins either Florida or Ohio or other states to make up for the necessary electoral votes. And Trump could take Florida and Ohio and North Carolina, and go over the top with some other combination of swing states. But Pennsylvania is his most likely route.

Both candidates have certainly been putting forth effort in the battleground state. On Sept. 1, Trump met with African-American voters at the Greater Exodus Baptist church in Philadelphia while he more recently stopped in Aston, Pennsylvania where he rolled out a child care plan on Wednesday.

President Obama, on the other hand, campaigned solo for Clinton in Philadelphia while she recovered from pneumonia. Obama told the audience that the Democratic nominee is "steady and she is true" during the event.

While Clinton herself has campaigned in the state herself, she'll be making yet another appearance on Monday to specifically address millennial voters

PredictWise reports a 78 percent chance of Clinton winning the state, while an August 2016 poll by Franklin & Marshall College shows Clinton leading Trump 47 to 40 percent.

As the election date creeps closer, Pennsylvania officials are making efforts to register the state's voters before it's too late. Gov. Tom Wolf recently launched his "Send a Text, Register 2 Vote" program where citizens can text "PA" to "2VOTE" to help them register.

The last day to register in Pennsylvania is Oct. 11.