'Scientific' model projects Obama victory



The Signal -- a Yahoo! blog using an engine that "combines powerful scientific algorithms with multiple, real-time and historical data sources to generate predictions" -- says Obama will win 303 electoral votes to the Republican candidate's 235.

"Campaigns and candidates matter, and elections are dynamic events with more variables than could ever reasonably be distilled in an equation," adds The Signal. "But based on a real-time prediction engine that we have created with Yahoo! scientists, the data suggest a likely second-term for the current presidents."

Also note that The Signal projects Obama winning three states with less than 51% of the vote: Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire. Should those three states -- and their 35 electoral votes -- shift to the GOP, the Republican candidate would win 270-268.

From The Signal:

We have examined the last ten presidential cycles and found that the Yahoo! model would have correctly predicted the winner in 88 percent of the 500 individual state elections, with an margin of error of just under 3 percentage points for our estimated vote share.

(We exclude Washington, D.C. in the model and assume it will definitely go for the Democratic candidate.)

This makes these predictions appreciably more accurate than the next best model for forecasting the Electoral College by the end of the second quarter of the election year. Furthermore, they are more accurate than polls until just after the conventions.

Using the Yahoo! model, given plausible economic and political trends, Barack Obama's reelection likelihood looks good for Democrats.

We assume that the president's approval rating stays the same between now and mid-June, each of the 50 states reports personal income growth that is average for an election year, and certain key indicators of state ideology remain unchanged this year. In this case, our model predicts that Barack Obama will carry 303 electoral votes this fall, 33 more than needed for victory.

To hedge our bets a bit, however, please note that our model predicts probabilities of victory, and that many states in both the Republican and Obama camps are nearly toss-ups.

CBO: 8%-plus unemployment into 2014

The Congressional Budget Office is projecting unemployment of more than 8% throughout this election year and into 2014.

According to the CBO:

"The rate of unemployment in the United States has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, making the past three years the longest stretch of high unemployment in this country since the Great Depression."

It added:

"CBO projects that the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent until 2014. The share of unemployed people who have been looking for work for more than six months -- referred to as the long-term unemployed -- topped 40 percent in December 2009 and has remained above that level ever since."

Republicans are citing the new CBO report as an indictment of Obama's economic policies:

"Today, there's no denying the fact that his stimulus policies not only failed, they made things worse," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

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Real Unemployment Is 15 Percent According To CBO

The Congressional Budget Office released a report Thursday that showed real unemployment in America at 15 percent for the month of January, a figure considerably higher than the White House’s oft-cited 8.3 percent figure that does not include part-time workers seeking full-time work or those who have given up hope of finding a job altogether.

From the CBO:

Many people would like to work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks, or are working part-time but would prefer full-time work. If those people were counted among the unemployed, the unemployment rate in January 2012 would have been about 15 percent.


Furthermore, the CBO reported:

The United States is experiencing the longest stretch of high unemployment since the Great Depression with no end in sight through 2014.


The CBO reports that the Obama Economy has created an unprecedentedly high rate of long-term unemployment, which the CBO defines as a person who has been seeking work for over 26 months.

Over 40 percent of people who are currently unemployed have been out of work for more than half a year, as compared with about one-quarter during the 1981–1982 recession. The extent of long-term unemployment is much greater than would be expected on the basis of its historical relationship with the overall unemployment rate.


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