Political scientists makes their predictions

In election years, the October issue of the journal PS: Political Science and Politics features the predictions of political scientists based on their various models. The issue of the journal has just been published with 13 predictions. Unfortunately it is behind a paywall.

But Dan Balz of the Washington Post has looked at the predictions and the models on which they are based and summarizes the results.

Eight of them project that Obama will win the popular vote; five say the popular vote will go to Romney. But the degree of certainty in those forecasts differs. One projection favoring the president says there is an 88 percent certainty that he’ll win, while two others forecasting Obama says there is only a 57 percent certainty.

James E. Campbell, the department chairman at the University at Buffalo in New York, who wrote the introduction to the package, rates them this way: Five predict that Obama will win a plurality of the two-party vote, although three are on “the cusp of a toss-up.” Five predict that Romney will win the plurality of the two-party vote. Three are in what he calls the toss-up range.

So clearly there is no consensus on the predictions of political scientists. This is probably not good news for Romney. Given his lackluster qualities as a candidate, he needs a strong boost from the so-called ‘fundamentals’ based on the economy and other more objective factors to overcome the fact that people just don’t seem to like him.


  1. eigenperson says

    I don’t know if it’s good or bad news for Romney, but it sure seems like bad news for political scientists, who have basically demonstrated their inability to predict an election that isn’t a complete rout.

  2. slc1 says

    Nate Sliver, who, unlike most political scientists understands statistics, gives the P)resident a >75% probability of winning.

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