Choice and Chance in the 2015 Election
Brilliant column by Daniel Finkelstein, or Lord Finkelstein as we shall have to get used to calling him, in today’s Times (pay wall). About a book called The Gamble: Choice and Chance in the 2012 Presidential Election, by John Sides and Lynn Vavreck.
It recounts an experiment in election forecasting, which is relevant to some of my recent comments about predicting the 2015 election.
Sides and Vavreck say that campaigning by the candidates didn’t make much difference and mostly cancelled out. They looked at economic indicators and predicted Barack Obama would win by 52.9 per cent. Eventually he won by 51.9 per cent, possibly because economic growth turned out to be lower than forecast.
Sides and Vavreck’s conclusion, as paraphrased by Lord Finkelstein, is:
All that counts is the way that GDP and disposable income is travelling very near to election day.
That strikes me as a bit “the economy, stupid” determinist. But there is a reason I have taken such a close interest in those disposable income figures recently.Tagged in: 2015 election, barack obama, daniel finkelstein
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