Amidst all of the hooplah, incomprehensible media coverage, and exaggerated reactions to the present absurdity by which American voters choose from among the unpalatable candidates seeking the presidency, there is something that I think is being lost and that is that the American political history and experience suggests that the fundamentals favor the Republicans, regardless of which candidate each party eventually nominates. In this post I’ll submit a little evidence for that.
For the last 20 years Yale economist Ray Fair has been using an econometric model to predict the popular vote results for the presidential and Congressional elections and over the years the accuracy of his model has continued to improve. If you think it’s relevant, Dr. Fair is a progressive Democrat.
The table below illustrates his model’s predictions for the last three presidential elections along with the actual popular vote results. Red denotes results for a Republican, blue for a Democrat.
There are a number of different possible reactions to this:
- Dr. Fair’s model is correct and the economic fundamentals favor the Republicans this cycle.
- Dr. Fair’s model is wrong. His 2008 and 2012 predictions were a coincidence.
- Never tell me the odds!
- This time is different.
I think that Dr. Fair’s model is correct, at least in terms of the directionality of his results and that it ignores the Democrats’ ground game which, for example, gave John Kerry better results than he predicted in 2004. I also think that this time is different. I think that both the ordinary members of both parties are rebelling against their respective party’s nomenklatura.
You can tinker with Dr. Fair’s model at the link above. Basically, it predicts that we’ll need third quarter growth that is, frankly, unimaginably high for the Democratic candidate not to be swimming against the tide.