History and Primary: The Obama Re-Election

Posted: 21 Aug 2012

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 21, 2012


President Barack Obama is going to defeat Republican challenger Mitt Romney by a comfortable margin. Obama has history on his side as well as the fact that he was unchallenged in the primaries. The PRIMARY MODEL, which formalizes these predictors, forecasts an Obama victory with 53.2 percent of the two-party popular vote. This forecast assures Obama’s re-election with 88-percent certainty. The forecast model relies on primary elections as well as an electoral cycle, using elections as far back as 1912, the first year of presidential primaries. The primary performance of the incumbent-party candidate and that of the opposition-party candidate enter as separate predictors. For elections since 1952, the primary-support measure relies solely on the New Hampshire primary. In the period since then, no other primary beats New Hampshire in predictive power. The Primary-Model forecast was posted January 12, 2012, on the Huffington Post.

Keywords: presidential elections, forecasting

Suggested Citation

Norpoth, Helmut, History and Primary: The Obama Re-Election (August 21, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2133432

Helmut Norpoth (Contact Author)

Stony Brook University ( email )

Health Science Center
Stony Brook, NY 11794
United States

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