Trump closely watched the New York Times prediction meter on election night that had everyone freaking out -- and he wasn't confident until it reached 90%

  • President Donald Trump paid close attention to The New York Times’ election meter that had people freaking out on Election Day 2016.
  • He wasn’t confident he’d win until he saw the meter hit 90%.
  • The revelation is a part of a new oral history on the day of the 2016 election published by GQ.

Everyone was watching The New York Times’ election forecast needle on Election Day 2016 — even now-President Donald Trump.

The Times’ model, which caused widespread anxiety as it flickered rapidly between showing Trump or 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as the projected winner, slowly but steadily crept more and more toward Trump’s favour as the night progressed.

As GQ reported in an oral history of that Election Day, Trump was paying close attention, and wasn’t confident he’d win until the meter moved firmly into his favour.

Kellyanne Conway, now counselor to the president, said his team “kept showing” him the results as they improved.

Armstrong Williams, a longtime adviser to former Republican presidential candidate and current Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, said Trump wasn’t confident in his win until the model showed him with a 90% chance of victory.

“I can tell you, it wasn’t until The New York Times said there’s a 48 per cent chance that Trump’s going to win, there’s a 60 per cent chance, there’s a 70 per cent chance, there’s an 80 per cent chance — it wasn’t until the guy said 90 per cent that the president broke out in a smile,” Williams, who was with the president that night, said.

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