August 1, 2011

THE TRICK IS FOR HIM TO GET AS FAR RIGHT AS JFK AND CLINTON...:

Election Predictor Calls 2012 a Tossup (JUSTIN LAHART, 7/31/11, WSJ)

With his model, Mr. Fair has analyzed data from every presidential election since 1916. The model has--after the fact--accurately named the winners of all but two races--the 1960 election, when Richard Nixon lost to John Kennedy, and the 1992 election, when George H.W. Bush lost to Bill Clinton. Actual vote shares are usually within 2.5 percentage points above or below what the model predicts.

The model includes three economic variables:

• The per capita growth rate of gross domestic product in the three quarters before the election--voters apparently care more about how the economy has been doing recently than they do about how it did over a president's entire term. Economists' forecasts imply GDP per capita will grow at a 1.95% annual rate in the first three quarters of 2012

• Inflation over the course of the entire presidential term, as measured by the GDP price index. Economists' forecasts indicate an annual inflation rate of 1.63%.

• The number of quarters during a presidential term that per capita GDP growth exceeds 3.2%. Mr. Fair added this after his original model predicted President George H.W. Bush would win the 1992 election over Bill Clinton by a wide margin. There has been no such "good news" period on Mr. Obama's watch so far, and economists' forecasts for moderate growth through 2012 imply that there aren't any in the offing.

The model takes into account other factors, including an edge for incumbents, a tendency for Republicans to do a bit better at the ballot box, and voter fatigue when one party has held the White House for a while.


...or to be saved by the GOP's nomination. A truly reformist bill on entitlements would have fit the bill, but in its absence his best bet is to ditch Biden and replace him with someone like Joe Manchin.



Posted by at August 1, 2011 7:27 AM
  

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