Picking election winners

Like predicting the stock market based on the winner of the Super Bowl or a guide to selecting winning lottery numbers, some people have a model for predicting election winners.

 From the New York Times:   It is often asserted that elections are easy to predict and that the economy decides most of them….

But is it true? Can political scientists “predict winners and losers with amazing accuracy long before the campaigns start”?

The answer to this question, at least since 1992, has been emphatically not. Some of their forecasts have been better than others, but their track record as a whole is very poor.

And the models that claim to be able to predict elections based solely on the fundamentals — that is, without looking to horse-race factors like polls or approval ratings — have done especially badly.

Will the economy predict the outcome of this election? It is the issue that concerns North Carolinians the most.

— John Robinson

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