US Politics

Calling it 2: Premature Electoral Prediction

Even he's surprised that he's the frontrunner

Last time we did “Calling it” we claimed that Newt was done for and Romney had clinched the nomination. Well it seems while we were covering our local debate between the Republicans and Democrats, Santorum has surged across the States. Jokes about Santorum’s name aside, the race for the GOP nomination has been pretty disappointing for everyone involved. The turn outs at these primaries have been considerably lower than previous years, and no candiate has the Republicans really fired up. Santorum himself is no viable candidate for office: while he may appeal to the GOP’s Christian base as an alternative to Romney, his social politics is just too restrictive and outdated for him to lead the entire nation.

This Republican pessimism has been dominating the nation’s media and liberals in particular have pounced on it. Economist Paul Krugman wrote a scathing New York Times Column about the GOP’s dismal prospects. In the column he argues that Republican base demands a level of conservatism from the candidates that the general public is not interested in, saying that “the party suffers from “severe” conservatism in the worst way. And the malady may take many years to cure.”

It would seem the Republican party has lost direction. It’s unable to find an inspiring candidate or resinate with the American people en large, beyond their core base. But looking forward to November their are other factors in play. The economy is growing again up to 2.3% from 1.6% last year and Obama has held approve rating steady around 50%.

These factors have been analyzed by economists Patrick Hummel and David Rothschild working for Yahoo! Labs. They have developed an algorithm from analyzing the past 10 presidential elections which can predict the outcome of a state election with 88% accuracy. When given the economic and political factors for the upcoming election, Hummel and Rothschild’s model predicted that Obama would prevail over a Republic challenger with 303 electoral votes to 235.

That’s quite the prediction, but don’t place your bets yet. There is plenty of time until November and things could change. But for now it seems like Obama has the upper hand and the Republican candidates don’t know how to proceed. Perhaps their own algorithms have told them to save their energy for later.

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