Today, the University of Colorado released an analysis of “state-by-state factors leading to the Electoral College selection of every U.S. president since 1980” and found that these factors add up to a Romney victory in 2012 with an Obama loss in Colorado.
When just the two major parties are considered, their analysis predicts that Romney will receive 51.9% of the vote compared to Obama’s predicted 48.1% nationally.
According to the two political science professors Kenneth Bickers and Michael Berry, the “key is the economy”. The two explained their “prediction model”:
“[The] prediction model stresses economic data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia, including both state and national unemployment figures as well as changes in real per capita income, among other factors.”
This model, developed by Bickers and Berry, is the only one of its type to include more than one state-level measure of economic conditions. The research also shows that voters hold Democrats more responsible for unemployment, while Republicans are held more responsible for per capita income. And, we say, carry on voters! Check out the charts below.
When Obama took office in January 2009, unemployment in Colorado was just 6.6%. As of the last Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the July 2012 unemployment is at 8.3%. Ouch.
Contrast that with per capita income, which is a yearly compilation. It’s risen 9.3% in the same time period. In 2009, the average Colorado per capita income was $41,388 and in 2011, the average Colorado per capita income was $44,088, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Bickers noted that the “president is in electoral trouble” and the two predict that President Obama will win just 218 electoral votes, which is shy of the 270 required to win. Further, they also predict that Romney will win 52.9% of the popular vote compared to Obama’s 47.1% of the vote in Colorado; however, this analysis only considers the two major political parties.
Berry also weighed in on the analysis:
“For the last eight presidential elections, this model has correctly predicted the winner. …What remains to be seen is whether voters will consider the economy in relative or absolute terms. If it’s the former, the president may receive credit for the economy’s trajectory and win a second term. In the latter case, Romney should pick up a number of states Obama won in 2008.”
Those states, considered swing states, include North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida.
Given the steep rise in unemployment just in Colorado, we could hardly blame voters for wanting a change.