Presidential Winner Predicted in State-by-State Analysis

    August 23, 2012

A University of Colorado (CU) analysis of the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election predicts that Mitt Romney will win the election in November. The model used for the prediction is one that has correctly predicted all presidential elections since 1980, including George W. Bush losing the popular vote but still winning the election in 2000. [Details Here]

“For the last eight presidential elections, this model has correctly predicted the winner,” said Michael Berry, political science professor at CU. “The economy has seen some improvement since President Obama took office. What remains to be seen is whether voters will consider the economy in relative or absolute terms. If it’s the former, the president may receive credit for the economy’s trajectory and win a second term. In the latter case, Romney should pick up a number of states Obama won in 2008.”

The prediction model uses an analysis of economic factors to determine an outcome for each of the 50 U.S. states. It was developed by Berry and his fellow CU political science professor Kenneth Bickers. Two of the factors the model takes into account include state and national unemployment numbers and changes in real per capita income, both of which affect Democratic and Republican candidates differently.

The study has predicted that President Barack Obama will only receive 218 electoral votes, far short of the 270 needed to win the election. It also predicts that Romney will receive 52.9% of the popular vote.

“The incumbency advantage enjoyed by President Obama, though statistically significant, is not great enough to offset high rates of unemployment currently experienced in many of the states.” said Bickers.

The Berry and Bickers study will be published in this month’s Political Science & Politics. An update to their analysis using more recent economic data will be coming in September.