CU study says analysis of election factors points to Romney win

August 22, 2012

Aug. 22, 2012                                                                       Ken Bickers

And the winner is? The Romney-Ryan ticket! That’s according to a University of Colorado analysis of state-by-state factors leading to the Electoral College selection of every U.S. president since 1980.

Political analyst and CU-Boulder professor Ken Bickers, co-author of the study, says the overwhelming factor influencing this model is the economy.

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CU study says analysis of election factors points to Romney win

Aug. 22, 2012                                                                       Ken Bickers

And the winner is? The Romney-Ryan ticket! That’s according to a University of Colorado analysis of state-by-state factors leading to the Electoral College selection of every U.S. president since 1980.

Political analyst and CU-Boulder professor Ken Bickers, co-author of the study, says the overwhelming factor influencing this model is the economy.

CUT 1 “Based on variables of relative employment across the 50 states and rising or falling real income across the 50 states we’re able to go back and analyze how the states have come out over the last 8 election cycles. (:16) In this election cycle what that model shows is that the Obama-Biden ticket is likely to lose the election. (:25)

Bickers created the prediction model with CU-Denver Professor Michael Berry.

According to Bickers the model predicts the Obama-Biden ticket will lose by quite a few votes.

CUT 2 “At this point in time with economic data that exists right now our forecast is that the Obama ticket would win 218 Electoral College votes and that the Romney-Ryan ticket would get 320 Electoral College votes. (:16) Essentially what that means is that the Romney ticket would sweep most though not all of the battleground states.” (:23)

One of those states is Colorado, which he says is hard to predict since it has so many independent voters.

CUT 3 “Colorado is one of the hardest states to predict in this. It’s one of the ones that is absolutely on the edge. Right now we show it going to Romney and Ryan.” (:12)

Bickers says the model is not perfect and on average of the 50 states and Washington D.C. that were studied, the model can be off by one. But that won’t be enough to help President Obama, says Bickers, because the probability rate, at 76 percent, is just too high for the Obama-Biden ticket to overcome.

CUT 4 “Right now what the model suggests is that Romney and Ryan should win. These are the worst economic conditions that we have seen in a recovery in seven-and-a-half-decades. (:10) We know that the economy makes a difference in presidential elections. If the economy doesn’t make a difference in this election that’s what would surprise me.” (20)

The key to the model, says Bickers, is analyzing data from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and not simply arriving at the two party vote percentage from a national perspective. He stresses the election is a state-by-state race.

CUT 5 “This is not a national plebiscite. We don’t have a system like in Europe where the winner is the one who got more votes than the next vote-getter in the contest. The system we have is one of state-by-state contest. (:12) What we’ve done is to extend the logic of that to try to forecast where each state and the district will come out in November so that we can make an Electoral College forecast.” (:27)

Bickers and Berry will recalculate their model in mid-September when new economic data is released. But, he says, he doesn’t expect the economy to turn around enough to change the current prediction for November.

-CU-

*For more information go to www.colorado.edu/news

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