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Election Forecasting for Turbulent Times

18 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2012 Last revised: 5 Aug 2012

Michael S. Lewis-Beck

University of Iowa - Department of Political Science

Charles Tien

Hunter College & The Graduate Center, CUNY

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Much seems uncertain in the world of presidential election forecasting these days. The economy has been experiencing great swings, serious candidates sometimes lack the traditional racial profile, and forecasts themselves are coming from all directions. Perhaps as a product of these forces, our reliable Jobs Model was challenged in 2008. Here we review the theory of the Jobs Model, updating it for 2012. Then, in a radical departure, we offer as an alternative the Proxy Model, based on empirics rather than theory. We compare the performance of the two, in a series of “nowcasts,” which declare who the winner would be if the election were held “now.” By any of these measures (still preliminary as of this writing), President Obama appears to have a battle on his hands. Indeed, he may even fall into the “win-lose triangle” of the Gore result, winning the popular vote but losing the electoral vote.

Keywords: US presidential forecasting, economic voting

Suggested Citation

Lewis-Beck, Michael S. and Tien, Charles, Election Forecasting for Turbulent Times (2012). APSA 2012 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2110790

Michael Lewis-Beck (Contact Author)

University of Iowa - Department of Political Science ( email )

Iowa City, IA 52242
United States
319-335-2350 (Phone)

Charles Tien

Hunter College & The Graduate Center, CUNY ( email )

New York, NY 10021
United States
212-772-5494 (Phone)

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