April 23, 2004

50-0 FILES:

Why Bush Will Win (Rob Norton, May/June 2004, Corporate Board Member)

If you're interested in who's going to win the presidential election in November...[s]imply consult what may be the most accurate predictor of presidential election outcomes ever devised--the Presidential Vote Equation, an econometric model developed over the past 25 years by Yale economics professor Ray Fair. It has been predicting since late 2003 that President Bush will win big-time and that practically nothing that could conceivably happen between now and Election Day is likely to change the outcome. Fair's approach is described in detail on his website, and also in his book Predicting Presidential Elections and Other Things. [...]

He uses three simple variables: gross domestic product growth, inflation, and the number of "good news quarters" leading up to the election--quarters in which GDP grows at more than 3.2%. To these he adds a variable for whether one of the candidates is the incumbent president, and another for how long the incumbent party has been in power.

The equation has been impressively accurate. It predicted the popular-vote winner in all but two of the 22 presidential elections from 1916 to 2000, and got the last election's popular vote right, though it miscalled the actual victor. (Remember Florida?)

The big miss: In 1992, Fair's model anticipated that George H. W. Bush would beat Bill Clinton with 50.9% of the vote, instead of losing with 46.5%.

As of February the equation was saying that George W. Bush will end up with a robust 58.7% of the two-party vote. Nothing less than an economic collapse of unprecedented suddenness and severity would change the prediction. [...]

Even if you posit GDP growth of only 2%, a 3% inflation rate, and no "good news quarters" come Election Day, Bush still wins with 54.6% of the vote. The equation's variables for incumbency add weight to its prediction: Bush enjoys the best possible situation, according to Fair. The four previous contests in which a Republican won reelection after one term of party control were 1984, when Reagan got 59.2% of the vote; 1972 (Nixon, 61.8%); 1956 (Eisenhower, 57.8%); and 1924 (Coolidge, 58.2%).

Of course, George H. W. Bush would have won had Ross Perot not developed some kind of weird Fatal Attraction-type obsession with him.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 23, 2004 8:40 AM

Here's my theory: Bush senior lost because he left Saddam in power, simple as that. His Jacksonian base knew they fought a war, knew they won but were then outraged to see this filthy little thug still in his palace at the end of it, making a mockery of America's war dead, and Powel's "realpolik" be damned.

And look how all that wonderful 'sensible, hardheaded' diplomatic bullsh*t turned out- the republicans lost the whitehouse and America still had to go back in, at massive expense after ten years of pointless and disasterous sanctions. Good thinking you idiots.

Bush snr insulted the Jacksonians, he's history and that's that. Bush junior will not make the same mistake.

Posted by: Amos at April 23, 2004 11:11 PM
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