Yale economist’s model gives Obama 4-point spread on McCain
DALLAS – Yale Economist Ray Fair’s econometric forecasting model for presidential elections gives an almost 4-point spread to Democrat Barack Obama over Republican John McCain in Tuesday’s White House election.
The model, based on data going back almost a century, has just been updated after Thursday’s release of figures showing U.S. economic output shrank at a 0.3 percent annual rate in the third quarter as the
biggest pullback by consumers since 1980 overwhelmed an increase in government spending.
On his web site, Fair says in a two-party presidential race, the Democratic candidate can expect 51.91 percent of the vote while the candidate for the incumbent White House party — the Republican Party — is seen garnering 48.09 percent.
“The current situation is unusual in that the economy since the end of the third quarter appears to have gotten much worse. People may perceive the economy to be worse than the economic values through the third quarter indicate, which, other things being equal, suggests that the vote equation may overpredict the Republican share,” Fair says.
“But for what it is worth, the final vote prediction is 48.09 percent of the two-party vote for the Republicans. The Republican share of the two-party House vote is predicted to be 44.24 percent.”
The financial crisis is seen as the main reason for Obama’s lead in virtually every national poll heading into the election and Thursday’s data adds to the gloom. The drop in gross domestic product was widely expected but the decline was not as sharp as expected.
The economy is widely anticipated to contract again in the fourth quarter which would meet the classic definition of a recession — and history shows that recessions are hard on incumbent parties in the United States.