President Barack Obama’s re-election plans will be brought down by gravity, the gravity of the poor economic situation across the country, Colorado University Professor Keith Bickers tells Newsmax TV.
Bickers, along with his colleague Michael Barry, have used economic indicators such as unemployment rates and real per capita income to predict the 2012 election. The conclusion is a big win in the Electoral College for GOP challenger Mitt Romney.
Watch the exclusive interview here.
“When the preliminary model was first released which was about six weeks ago, the polls at the time were almost all pointing to an Obama victory this fall,” he said. “Polls that far out are frequently not predictive. Polls obviously at this point are much more in line with the model and moving more and more closely to the model. What I tell people is that in the end, gravity wins. If you go up in the air, you will certainly come back down again, and gravity in politics is the economic fundamentals across the states. “
Bickers said the biggest factor driving the prediction was unemployment levels.
“Over the summer, as we moved from July into August, unemployment rose in 26 states; only fell in 16,” he said. “There was the new numbers released last week that showed the national unemployment rate ticking down by three tenths of a point. We won’t know how that was distributed across the states until just a few days before the election.
“But, at this point, unemployment is high enough that it’s really difficult for any incumbent running for re-election. The other is that real income is not growing in ways that it usually does. Real income from the fourth quarter of the last presidential election year to second quarter of this year actually has only improved by about a tenth of one percentage point. Historically, it would grow about six percent in real terms over a four-year period.”
Bickers said he had tested the model going back eight election cycles from 1980 through 2008 and found “the model performs pretty well but that doesn’t mean it hits it perfectly.” The model shows Romney taking 330 Electoral College votes, 60 more than needed.
“In each election cycle, it tends to be a little high or a little low in the Electoral College vote,” he said. “Over the prior eight election cycles, it’s missed by approximately 28 Electoral College votes and it tends to misclassify about five states. And those generally are states that are right on the 50-50 line and they’re typically offsetting so a few states that are called for one party end up going for the other and vice versa.
“But, historically, looking back, it misses by about 28 Electoral College votes. At the moment, the model is showing that Gov. Romney should take about 330 Electoral College votes; the president winning 208. 270 is the magic number. So the model would have to do worse by double its normalness, and even more, for the election to go in a way that’s different from what we’re forecasting.”
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