You, Too, Can Predict the Election Outcome

Political scientists believe you can get a pretty good prediction for a presidential candidate’s election chances based on just three pieces of data.

According to Ezra Klein of the Washington Post:

The final model uses just three pieces of information that have been found to be particularly predictive: economic growth in the year of the election, as measured by the change in gross domestic product during the first three quarters; the president’s approval rating in June; and whether one of the candidates is the incumbent.

That may seem a bit thin. But it calls 12 of the past 16 elections right. The average error in its prediction of the two-party vote share is less than three percentage points.

I used the new economic figures released yesterday (2.3%) and Obama’s latest approval rating from Gallup (50%), and the thing calculated that the incumbent wins 89.5 percent of the time when the economy is growing a 2.2 percent and his approval rating is 50 percent.

So go here, fiddle around with the data and start predicting.

One Response »

  1. way2cynical (mark) April 24, 2012 @ 10:44 am

    I was told there would be no math…

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