July 02, 2004
Game over, man

The bad news: A group of political scientists are predicting an easy win for Bush based on a forecasting model that has been successful in the past.

The good news: This same model predicted a big win for Gore in 2000.

Any model that is predicting an easy Bush win based on current economic news is flawed, I believe, at least in this election. For one thing, the "recovery" hasn't been very good for most people, with the employment picture still well into net negative territory. (The June data ain't so hot, either. Maybe those poliscientists ought to crunch their numbers again.) And finally, wasn't the economy chugging along pretty well by this point in 1992? You can call the public's perception of the economy a lagging indicator if you want, but isn't that perception going to be a better predictor than the actual state of the economy? It's just another form of the "are you better off today" formulation, I think.

Anyway. I'll really start paying attention to this sort of thing after the conventions, when we see what kind of bounces each guy gets. Via CateyBeth.

UPDATE: Mary Beth notes there was more not-so-good news about the economy beyond lackluster employment numbers.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on July 02, 2004 to The making of the President | TrackBack

As I've said before over on BOR, Charles, econometric models have their problems.

Good economic performance is a major, but not exclusive, component of presidential job approval, which IMHO is probably the most significant/predictive number available.

Certainly, better news doesn't hurt Bush, but asserting that a couple of cherry-picked indicators have a direct influence on the election result is lunacy.

Although, fwiw, I hope the models are getting better.

Posted by: Jim D on July 2, 2004 4:33 PM
Economic forecast:
*                               *
 *                          *
  *         *           *
          *  *        *
   *    *     *     *
      *        *  *
    *           *
'01 '02 '03 '04 (Kerry takes over)

What's that spell?

Posted by: Mathwiz on July 2, 2004 5:00 PM

Is this model assuming the only issue in a presidential race is the economy, well this election may brake that model.

Posted by: Tek_XX on July 2, 2004 10:05 PM