DENVER — A University of Colorado economic model that has correctly predicted who will win the past eight presidential elections shows Mitt Romney emerging as the victor in 2012.
Ken Bickers, professor of political science at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Michael Berry, political science professor at the University of Colorado Denver, announced Wednesday that their state-by-state analysis shows the Republican capturing a majority of electoral votes.
"Based on our forecasting model, it becomes clear that the president is in electoral trouble," said Mr. Bickers, who also serves as director of the CU in DC Internship Program.
The results show President Obama winning 218 votes in the Electoral College, well short of the 270 required for victory. While the study focuses on the electoral vote, the professors also predict that Mr. Romney will win 52.9 percent of the popular vote to Mr. Obama's 47.1 percent when considering only the two major political parties.
The analysis factors in a host of economic data, including state and national unemployment figures and changes in real per capita income.
"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," Mr. Bickers said.
While noneconomic factors such as incumbency can play a role in the election's outcome, the professors found that there was no statistical advantage conferred by the location of the party's national convention, the home state of the vice-presidential candidate, or the party affiliation of state governors.
The silver lining for the Obama campaign is that the data were collected five months before the election; the professors say they plan to update their forecast in September, which should provide a more accurate picture. They also note that dead-heat states have been known to fall in unexpected directions.
"As scholars and pundits well know, each election has unique elements that could lead one or more states to behave in ways in a particular election that the model is unable to correctly predict," Mr. Berry said.
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