The forecast of the 2012 Presidential Election by Michael Berry and Kenneth Bicker, political science professors at the University of Colorado, that was released in August has been updated with more current economic information, and the result is the same: a Romney win as the economy continues to falter.
It takes 270 Electoral College votes to win the presidency, and Berry and Bicker are projecting that Governor Mitt Romney will win 330 of the 538 votes up for grabs in November, while President Obama will receive just 208, down from the 213 they predicted in August.
It’s the economy. The model developed by the two professors has an uncanny track record, correctly predicting each presidential election since 1980, often with startling accuracy. In their paper originally published in August by the American Political Science Association [APSA] along with 12 other studies, it differed in its predictive “model” by looking at two essential pieces of the economic puzzle: changes in real per capita income — that is, net, after-tax, spendable income — and unemployment rates. But their model doesn't just rely on the national numbers provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which has been heavily criticized recently for its inexplicable drop in the unemployment rate while real jobs in the economy aren't even reaching maintenance levels. It relies also on state-by-state analyses of those same factors, which appear to be more reliable. As the professors note:
In contrast to these other Electoral College models [published by the APSA], our model includes measures of change in real per capita income, as well as national and state unemployment figures.
Accounting for both changes in personal income and unemployment provides a more robust approximation of state economic well-being and, thus, serves to model the impact of retrospective evaluations of the incumbent party's stewardship of the economy…
The data incorporated in our model are regularly released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in the US Department of Commerce and the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US Department of Labor. This gives us high-quality, predictably available data to use as the feedstock for our model.
This is how politically correct political science professors cover themselves: just in the case the national data gets a little dicey, the numbers from the states are more predictive:
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