Mitt Romney will become the next U.S. president as Mr. Obama’s campaign drowns in a current of high unemployment, according to a highly credible analysis by the University of Colorado.
A shrinking middle class frustrated by the slowest economic recovery since World War II will help elect Mr. Romney, according to the state-by-state CU study that has correctly forecast every presidential election since 1980. The CU analysis accurately predicted Ronald Regan’s victory over Jimmy Carter and picked every president since that 1980 contest based on Electoral College results.
Political science professors Kenneth Bickers of CU-Boulder and Michael Berry say their prediction model is based on economic data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. State and national unemployment figures, changes in real per capita income are among key components considered in the analysis, although there are many other factors.
“Based on our forecasting model, it becomes clear that the president is in electoral trouble,” said Bickers, also director of the CU in DC Internship Program.
Their results conclude that President Barack Obama will win 218 votes in the Electoral College, well short of the 270 required. The study is focused on the Electoral College; however, when considering just the two main political parties, the political scientists predict Romney will receive 52.9 percent of the popular vote to Obama’s 47.1 percent.
“For the last eight presidential elections, this model has correctly predicted the winner,” said Berry. “The economy has seen some improvement since President Obama took office. What remains to be seen is whether voters will consider the economy in relative or absolute terms. If it’s the former, the president may receive credit for the economy’s trajectory and win a second term. In the latter case, Romney should pick up a number of states Obama won in 2008.”
The crux of the study shows “the apparent advantage of being a Democratic candidate and holding the White House disappears when the national unemployment rate hits 5.6 percent,” according to Berry.
The results, according to Bickers, indicate “that the incumbency advantage enjoyed by President Obama, though statistically significant, is not great enough to offset high rates of unemployment currently experienced in many of the states.”
“What is striking about our state-level economic indicator forecast is the expectation that Obama will lose almost all of the states currently considered as swing states, including North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida,” Bickers said.
The reliable study predicts Romney will also win Colorado, which went for Obama in 2008. This year, Romney is forecast to receive 51.9 percent of the vote to Obama’s 48.1 percent.