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Chancellor Model Picks Merkel in 2013 German Election

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 June 2013

Helmut Norpoth
Stony Brook University
Thomas Gschwend
University of Mannheim


In the German national election this fall, based on the forecast of the Chancellor Model, the governing coalition will score a resounding victory. Chancellor Angela Merkel enjoys a high approval rating, which puts her at a 2-1 advantage over the challenger, Peer Steinbrück. Although Germany is not a presidential system, where voters elect the chief policymaker, chancellor support has proved to be a strong predictor of vote choice in German national elections. Our forecast model also includes long-term partisanship, which provides a broad base for the governing parties in this election, and length of tenure, which exacts a modest penalty after two terms of office. Since its premiere in 2002, the model has predicted the winner in each election. In a case of perhaps beginner's luck, the 2002 forecast scored a bull's-eye with 47.1%, the exact share of the governing parties; the forecast was posted three months before Election Day. No poll or other model, not even the Election-Day exit polls, came close to this performance; in fact, most people predicted a defeat for Schröder's red-green coalition (Norpoth and Gschwend 2003).

Copyright © American Political Science Association 2013 

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