A new election model from Moody’s Analytics may make all the hype over tonight’s first Presidential debate little more than an afterthought.
The Moody’s model uses economic indicators to determine which candidate is best positioned to reach the 270 electoral votes needed for victory in November. Based on the low price of gasoline and the surging popularity of President Obama, Moody’s now has Clinton winning 332 electoral votes to Trump’s 206.
However, Dan White, a Moody’s economist who compiles the monthly model said in such an uncertain year, nothing is written in stone:
“It’s important to once again note that the model’s projections are solely a reflection of economic and political conditions upon the incumbent party, and do not take any aspects of the individual candidates into account.
Given the unusual nature of the 2016 election cycle to date, it is very possible that voters will react to changing economic and political conditions differently than they have in past election cycles, placing some risk in the model outcome.”
The most important economic variable in the Moody’s forecast is income growth by state, which includes job and wage growth, hours worked, and the overall quality of the jobs being created in the two years leading up to an election.
The latest forecast puts 16 states in the Democratic column, with 11 more leaning in that direction, for a total of 332 electoral votes.
What might cause a last-minute change in the projection from Moody’s? White addressed that query by saying:
“Disappointing income numbers, coupled with a shock to gasoline prices and President Obama’s approval rating would be the only scenario to realistically alter the model projection at this point.”