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The Job of President and the Jobs Model Forecast: Obama for '08?

  • Michael S. Lewis-Beck (a1) and Charles Tien (a2)

The statistical modelers are back. The presidential election forecasting errors of 2000 did not repeat themselves in 2004. On the contrary, the forecasts, from at least seven different teams, were generally quite accurate (Campbell 2004; Lewis-Beck 2005). Encouragingly, their prowess is receiving attention from forecasters outside the social sciences, in fields such as engineering and commerce. Noteworthy here is the recent special issue on U.S. presidential election forecasting published in the International Journal of Forecasting, containing some 10 different papers (Campbell and Lewis-Beck 2008). Our contribution in that special issue explored the question of whether our Jobs Model, off by only 1 percentage point in its 2004 forecast, was a simple product of data-mining (Lewis-Beck and Tien 2008).

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Abramowitz, Alan. 2008. Personal communication, July.
Abramowitz, Alan, Mann, Thomas E., and Sabato, Larry J.. 2008. “The Myth of a Toss-up Election,” Crystal Ball Newsletter, July 24.
Campbell, James E. 2008. Personal communication, July.
Campbell, James E. 2004. “Introduction—The 2004 Presidential Election Forecasts.” PS: Political Science and Politics 37 (October): 733–5.
Campbell, James E., and Lewis-Beck, Michael S.. Guest Editors. 2008. “Special Issue: US Presidential Election Forecasting.” International Journal of Forecasting 24 (April–June).
Heerwig, Jennifer A., and McCabe, Brian J.. 2007. “Social Desirability Bias in Estimated Support for a Black Presidential Candidate.” Unpublished Manuscript.
Lewis-Beck, Michael S. 2005. “Election Forecasting: Principles and Practice.” British Journal of Politics and International Relations 7: 145–64.
Lewis-Beck, Michael S., and Tien, Charles. 2008. “Forecasting Presidential Elections: When to Change the Model.” International Journal of Forecasting 24: 227–36.
Lewis-Beck, Michael S., and Tien, Charles. 2002. “Presidential Election Forecasting: The Bush-Gore Draw.” Research in Political Sociology 10: 173–87.
Tufte, Edward R. 1974. Data Analysis for Politics and Policy. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
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PS: Political Science & Politics
  • ISSN: 1049-0965
  • EISSN: 1537-5935
  • URL: /core/journals/ps-political-science-and-politics
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