Sunday, August 9, 2015

A Close Win For The Dems In 2016?

That's what Moody's Analytics is predicting (just not which Democrat beats which Republican) but going strictly on the parties, they find the Democrats winning a razor-thin electoral college victory in 2016.

It will be an extremely close race, but the next president will be a Democrat, according to Moody's.

This doesn't mean that Hillary Clinton is on her way back to the White House. The model that Moody's uses doesn't focus on individual candidates. Instead, it predicts which party will win in every state, so it forecasts the results of the Electoral College.

Moody's says the Democratic nominee will get 270 electoral votes -- the minimum number of votes needed to win -- while the Republican nominee will accumulate 268 votes. The model correctly predicted every state in the 2012 election and has a nearly 90% success rate in forecasting each state accurately since 1980.

It will all come down to Virginia and Ohio this time because Moody's predicts that Republicans will win Florida. At the moment, Moody's says Virginia will go Democratic and Ohio will swing Republican, but that could change.

"If President Obama's approval rating falls by any more than 2 percentage points by Election Day, Virginia will swing and the Republicans will win the president," the report says.

A race that close will be drowning in recounts, frankly, and will almost certainly go to the Supreme Court again, so who knows which party would actually win.  Florida and Ohio going to the Republicans gives them a pretty big boost on the way to winning too.

So what is the key to such accurate predictions? Moody's says it's all about economics.

The model takes into account how the economy is doing in each state. The researchers have tested a lot of variables over the years, but the best ones are family ("household") income, home values and gas prices. If those three variables are going up, it favors the incumbent party. If they're not, people want change in Washington.

"The economy's performance strongly favors the Democratic nominee for president," says Moody's.

Moody's points out that household incomes have been steadily improving lately and are likely to go up further before Election Day.

"The only missing ingredient is stronger wage growth, which is expected to pick up in the coming months as the job market approaches full employment," the authors wrote.

So the better the economy gets, the larger the Dem lead becomes.  Republicans know this, so their best chance to win is to continue to block any spending that will improve the economy, and blame Obama.  It's worked for them in 2010 and 2014, and would have worked in 2012 if Romney hadn't been the worst candidate since Dukakis.

On the other hand, if the GOP nominee is still this guy...

Maybe it won't be so close after all.

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