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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Oxford Economics Election Model: Trump Will Lose in Landslide

“President Donald Trump is headed for a historic defeat, according to a new election model released by an organization with a strong track record of predicting presidential elections,” Tim Darnell reports at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Because of the coronavirus’ hugely negative impact on the U.S. economy, Oxford Economics’ latest election model predicts Trump will only win 35% of the popular vote in November.”

Darnell notes further, “With the economy still suffering from the global coronavirus recession in early fall, our state-based and national election models both anticipate President Donald Trump will lose the popular vote,” the U.K.-based global forecasting organization said Wednesday. “An unemployment rate above its global financial crisis peak, household income nearly 6 percent below its pre-virus levels, and transitory deflation will make the economy a nearly insurmountable obstacle for Trump come November.”

Matt Egan notes at CNN Business that “The model, which uses unemployment, disposable income and inflation to forecast election results, predicts that Trump will lose in a landslide, capturing just 35% of the popular vote. That’s a sharp reversal from the model’s pre-crisis prediction that Trump would win about 55% of the vote. And it would be the worst performance for an incumbent in a century.”

Egan adds, “The national election model assumes that the economy is still in bad shape this fall, with unemployment above 13%, real per capita incomes down nearly 6% from a year ago and brief period of falling prices, or deflation….”The economy would still be in a worse state than at the depth of the Great Depression…It would take nothing short of an economic miracle for pocketbooks to favor Trump,” the Oxford report said.

Further, “A separate state-based election model run by Oxford Economics that incorporates local economic trends and gasoline prices predicts Trump will badly lose the electoral college by a margin of 328 to 210. That model forecasts that seven battleground states will flip to Democrats: Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Missouri and North Carolina…”We would expect these states to experience significant economic contractions and traumatic job losses that would likely swing pocketbook vote,” the report said.”

This model has an impressive track record. According to CNN, it has “correctly predicted the popular vote in every election since 1948 other than 1968 and 1976,” notes Darnell.

The forecasting model’s metrics incude unemployment, disposable income and inflation. However, Egan reports, “Oxford Economics said that its models have “inherent limitations,” including the fact that they exclude noneconomic factors such as a candidate’s agenda or likeability.” Further, “the models don’t account for potential shifts in the pandemic. And this election may be a referendum on Trump’s handling of the crisis.” Greg Valliere, chief US policy strategist at AGF Investments said, “If new infections really pick up, people will conclude Trump opened the country too soon…But if new infections drop, Trump will get some credit.”

“Another wildcard is how the pandemic impacts voter turnout,” Egan adds. “Strong turnout for Democrats could cause Trump to lose Florida, Texas, Arizona, Tennessee and Georgia, Oxford Economics said. But weak Democratic turnout, along with a sharper economic recovery, could give Trump a “razor-thin” electoral college victory, the report said.”

In addition, “Users on PredictIt, a prediction platform, give Trump a 50% chance of winning reelection. That’s up from 45% in mid-March. The betting odds also solidly favor Trump, according to an average compiled by RealClearPolitics.”

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