Did The Last Two Months Happen?

Posted by | October 10, 2012 17:18 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

So I have all of these memories: Clint Eastwood talking to a chair, Mitt Romney opposing abortion, Mitt Romney being kind of ok with abortion, President Obama nodding off during the debate; so it seems like it has been an eventful couple of months.  However, the polls are now just about where they were two months ago and most models have President Obama as a very slight favorite to win next month.  Matt Dickinson says we shouldn’t be surprised.

If the collective wisdom of the fundamentals-based forecast models is to be believed, then, the election was likely to be a dead heat. Note that political scientists do not argue that campaigns—including debates—are inconsequential. Instead, they assume that each side effectively frames the fundamentals in ways that play to their candidate’s strengths, and negates their opponent’s. The net impact of campaigns, therefore, tends to be minimal, as each side counters the impact of the other’s framing efforts, making a forecast based solely on the fundamentals quite prescient.

Dickinson goes on to say that we are in for a photo finish.  I tend to think that the last three debates will break the way of the Democrats (note I did think the last one would go Romney’s way) but, then, again I’m an optimist.

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Copyright 2012 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.

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