Nate Silver, the author of the popular FiveThirtyEight blog on The New York Times website, is out today with a forecast of next year’s presidential election — and he is predicting a nail-biter of a race.
Silver’s model measures each Republican candidates’ chance of winning the popular — taking into account economic growth and President Barack Obama’s approval rating. The Times created this handy calculator so you can run the scenarios yourself.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman polls the best of the Republican candidates in a general election matchup — with a 69 per cent chance of winning the popular vote given 2.5 per cent growth in GDP and a 43 per cent approval rating for Obama. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is close behind, with a 57 per cent chance of winning the popular vote in that scenario.
But Silver believes Romney has far and away the best chance of winning the Republican nomination — and says that across all possible scenarios, Romney has a slightly better than even chance of defeating Obama.
If the economy stagnates at 0.0 per cent growth, Silver finds that Huntsman, Romney, Herman Cain, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry all would likely win majorities of the popular vote — while at 4 per cent growth only Huntsman is likely to win the election.
Of course, with a year until the election a lot can change. But rest assured, given Silver’s past success, this model is giving the Obama team pause.
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