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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Forecast Model Analysis Of Election Factors Points To Romney Win

By Susan Duclos

A University of Colorado analysis of state-by-state factors, a forecast model which has predicted Electoral College outcome of every U.S Presidential election since 1980, including two years when independent candidates ran strongly, 1980 and 1992. It also correctly predicted the outcome in 2000, when Al Gore received the most popular vote but George W. Bush won the election. This model forecasts the winner of the 2012 Presidential election as Mitt Romney with 320 electoral votes with Barack Obama receiving 218 electoral votes, according to the AP.

According to their analysis, President Barack Obama will win 218 votes in the Electoral College, short of the 270 he needs. And though they chiefly focus on the Electoral College, the political scientists predict Romney will win 52.9 percent of the popular vote to Obama’s 47.1 percent, when considering only the two major political parties.

The analysis and forecast, which can be found at the University of Colorado Boulder, devised by political science professors Kenneth Bickers of CU-Boulder and Michael Berry of CU Denver, is the only one of its type to include more than one state-level measure of economic conditions, both state and national unemployment rates and per capita income.

“Based on our forecasting model, it becomes clear that the president is in electoral trouble,” said Bickers, also director of the CU in DC Internship Program.

In 2012, “What is striking about our state-level economic indicator forecast is the expectation that Obama will lose almost all of the states currently considered as swing states, including North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida,” Bickers said.

H/T for map to The Blaze, 270toWin

The authors also provided caveats. Factors they said may affect their prediction include the timeframe of the economic data used in the study and close tallies in certain states. The current data was taken five months in advance of the Nov. 6 election and they plan to update it with more current economic data in September. A second factor is that states very close to a 50-50 split may fall an unexpected direction.

According to their analysis, state and national unemployment rates and per capita income affect the major parties differently: Voters hold Democrats more responsible for unemployment rates while Republicans are held more responsible for per capita income.

Updating the economic data in September may change the results of the above mentioned forecast model, but it is hard to see those changes favoring Barack Obama considering unemployment has risen in 44 states according to the latest release by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics on August 17, 2012.The official unemployment rate is at 8.3 percent and the U6 total unadjusted employment is at 15.2 percent, with the adjusted rate coming in at 15.0 percent.

[Update] Audio and Audio scipt found here:

Audio Script

CU study says analysis of election factors points to Romney win

Aug. 22, 2012                                                                       Ken Bickers

And the winner is? The Romney-Ryan ticket! That’s according to a University of Colorado analysis of state-by-state factors leading to the Electoral College selection of every U.S. president since 1980.

Political analyst and CU-Boulder professor Ken Bickers, co-author of the study, says the overwhelming factor influencing this model is the economy.

CUT 1 “Based on variables of relative employment across the 50 states and rising or falling real income across the 50 states we’re able to go back and analyze how the states have come out over the last 8 election cycles. (:16) In this election cycle what that model shows is that the Obama-Biden ticket is likely to lose the election. (:25)

Bickers created the prediction model with CU-Denver Professor Michael Berry.

According to Bickers the model predicts the Obama-Biden ticket will lose by quite a few votes.

CUT 2 “At this point in time with economic data that exists right now our forecast is that the Obama ticket would win 218 Electoral College votes and that the Romney-Ryan ticket would get 320 Electoral College votes. (:16) Essentially what that means is that the Romney ticket would sweep most though not all of the battleground states.” (:23)

One of those states is Colorado, which he says is hard to predict since it has so many independent voters.

CUT 3 “Colorado is one of the hardest states to predict in this. It’s one of the ones that is absolutely on the edge. Right now we show it going to Romney and Ryan.” (:12)

Bickers says the model is not perfect and on average of the 50 states and Washington D.C. that were studied, the model can be off by one. But that won’t be enough to help President Obama, says Bickers, because the probability rate, at 76 percent, is just too high for the Obama-Biden ticket to overcome.

CUT 4 “Right now what the model suggests is that Romney and Ryan should win. These are the worst economic conditions that we have seen in a recovery in seven-and-a-half-decades. (:10) We know that the economy makes a difference in presidential elections. If the economy doesn’t make a difference in this election that’s what would surprise me.” (20)

The key to the model, says Bickers, is analyzing data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and not simply arriving at the two party vote percentage from a national perspective. He stresses the election is a state-by-state race.

CUT 5 “This is not a national plebiscite. We don’t have a system like in Europe where the winner is the one who got more votes than the next vote-getter in the contest. The system we have is one of state-by-state contest. (:12) What we’ve done is to extend the logic of that to try to forecast where each state and the district will come out in November so that we can make an Electoral College forecast.” (:27)

Bickers and Berry will recalculate their model in mid-September when new economic data is released. But, he says, he doesn’t expect the economy to turn around enough to change the current prediction for November.

H/T Greg Lewis