Political Scientists Predict the 2012 US Presidential Election

12 September 2012
Last update: 12/09/12 18:23

Mike Marvin
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The next issue of the PS: Political Science & Politics, scheduled for release in late September, features a range of forecasting models for the upcoming 2012 presidential election in November. Over twenty eminent political scientists offer scholarly insight into this year’s race in thirteen separate articles.

The forecasts vary, but none are predicting a big win either way; yet another indication that 2012 is shaping up to be another very close race. Three models predict a modest to close plurality for Barack Obama, five predict a modest to close popular vote victory for Mitt Romney, and three see the election as being too close to call, but see Barack Obama as having a slight edge. One forecast requires a post-convention poll, which will be held now that the Democratic Party’s convention is complete. The forecasts range from predicting a 53.8% vote for Obama to a 53.1% vote for Romney.

Editor of the journal’s forecasting symposium, James Campbell, comments:

“It is difficult to say exactly why the forecasts vary as much as they do this year, but it appears that those that rely more on the existing holder of office and early public opinion indicators tilted more toward Obama, while those that depend more on objective economic variables tipped toward Romney.”

PS: Political Science & Politics is the journal of record for political science reporting on research, teaching, and professional development. PS, first published in 1968, is the only quarterly professional news and commentary journal in the field and is the prime source of information on political scientists’ achievements and professional concerns.

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