The University of Colorado’s quadrennial model to predict who will win the electoral college vote allocation has been updated with the most recent economic data. It still predicts a win for Mitt Romney on November 6th:
According to their updated analysis, Romney is projected to receive 330 of the total 538 Electoral College votes. President Barack Obama is expected to receive 208 votes — down five votes from their initial prediction — and short of the 270 needed to win.
The new forecast by political science professors Kenneth Bickers of CU-Boulder and Michael Berry of CU Denver is based on more recent economic data than their original Aug. 22 prediction. The model itself did not change.
“We continue to show that the economic conditions favor Romney even though many polls show the president in the lead,” Bickers said. “Other published models point to the same result, but they looked at the national popular vote, while we stress state-level economic data.”
While many election forecast models are based on the popular vote, the model developed by Bickers and Berry is based on the Electoral College and is the only one of its type to include more than one state-level measure of economic conditions. They included economic data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Of course, it’s only a model, but it’s been a fairly accurate model:
The state-by-state economic data used in their model have been available since 1980. When these data were applied retroactively to each election year, the model correctly classifies all presidential election winners, including the two years when independent candidates ran strongly: 1980 and 1992. It also correctly estimates the outcome in 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote but George W. Bush won the election through the Electoral College.
What’s interesting is to see how the battleground states are predicted to go by this model:
Of the 13 battleground states identified in the model, the only one to change in the update was New Mexico — now seen as a narrow victory for Romney. The model foresees Romney carrying New Mexico, North Carolina, Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida. Obama is predicted to win Michigan and Nevada.
In Colorado, which Obama won in 2008, the model predicts that Romney will receive 53.3 percent of the vote to Obama’s 46.7 percent, with only the two major parties considered.
So, there you have it. Interpret the numbers as you will. As usual, your mileage may vary. How do you predict the electoral college will be divided on November 6th?