Skip to main content
×
Home

Forecasting the 2012 Presidential Election with State-Level Economic Indicators

  • Michael J. Berry (a1) and Kenneth N. Bickers (a2)
Abstract

Nearly all forecast models of US presidential elections provide estimates of the national two-party vote (Campbell 2008). Each of the nine forecasts published in the 2008 forecasting issue of PS: Political Science and Politics made national popular vote total predictions for the major party candidates, while only one provided an expected result in the Electoral College (Klarner 2008). These national vote models are assumed to be reliable forecasts of who is likely to win the general election. In most cases, this assumption is reasonable. It becomes problematic, however, at precisely the point that forecasts are most interesting: when elections are close. In tight elections, national forecasts can and have produced a “winner” different from the actual winner. Consider the forecasts and ultimate outcome of the 2000 election. Each of the 2000 presidential election forecasts predicted vice president Al Gore to win a majority of the two-party popular vote, which he did, but none correctly predicted governor George W. Bush to assume the presidency (Campbell 2001). Never in US history have White House residents been determined through a national popular vote. Presidential elections are decided through contests in the states and the District of Columbia. The forecast model we developed explicitly models the presidential contest based on factors inherent to these 51 jurisdictions. This modeling approach allows us to make a projection of the Electoral College result, which popular vote estimates cannot.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Abramowitz Alan I. 2008. “Forecasting the 2008 Presidential Election with the Time-for-Change Model.” PS: Political Science & Politics 41 (4): 691–96.
Campbell James E. 1992. “Forecasting the Presidential Vote in the States.” American Journal of Political Science 36 (2): 386407.
Campbell James E. 2001. “Taking Stock of the Forecasts of the 2000 Presidential Election.” American Politics Research 29: 275–78.
Campbell James E. 2008. “Editor's Introduction: Forecasting the 2008 National Elections.” PS: Political Science & Politics 41 (4): 679–82.
Cohen Jeffrey E. 1998. “State-Level Public Opinion Polls as Predictors of Presidential Election Results.” American Politics Quarterly 26 (2): 139–59.
Cuzán Alfred G., and Bundrick Charles M.. 2008. “Forecasting the 2008 Presidential Election: A Challenge for the Fiscal Model.” PS: Political Science & Politics 41 (4): 717–22.
DeSart Jay A., and Holbrook Thomas M.. 2003. “Statewide Trial-Heat Polls and the 2000 Presidential Election: A Forecast Model.” Social Science Quarterly 84 (3): 561–73.
Erikson Robert S., and Wlezien Christopher. 2008. “Leading Economic Indicators, the Polls, and the Presidential Vote.” PS: Political Science & Politics 41 (4): 703–08.
Fiorina Morris P. 1981. Retrospective Voting in American National Elections. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Holbrook Thomas M. 2008. “Incumbency, National Conditions, and the 2008 Presidential Election.” PS: Political Science & Politics 41 (4): 709–12.
Holbrook Thomas M., and DeSart Jay A.. 1999. “Using State Polls to Forecast Presidential Election Outcomes in the American States.” International Journal of Forecasting 15: 137–42.
Klarner Carl. 2008. “Forecasting the 2008 U.S. House, Senate and Presidential Elections at the District and State Level.” PS: Political Science and Politics 41 (4): 723–28.
Lewis-Beck Michael S., and Tien Charles. 2008. “The Job of President and the Jobs Model Forecast: Obama for '08?PS: Political Science & Politics 41 (4): 687–90.
Petrocik John R., Benoit William L., and Hansen Glenn J.. 2003/2004. “Issue Ownership and Presidential Campaigning, 1952–2000.”Political Science Quarterly 118 (4): 599626.
Powell Richard J. 2004. “The Strategic Importance of State-Level Factors in Presidential Elections.” Publius 34 (3): 115–30.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 3
Total number of PDF views: 19 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 182 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 15th December 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.