If there were one thing that I would want every American and new journalist to read and internalize about the presidential election…
How can anyone accurately estimate the outcome of an election more than three months ahead of time — before the conventions, the debates, and the twists and turns of the fall campaign? Primarily because Abramowitz’s forecasting model disregards the fall campaign altogether. His method acknowledges something that political operatives, journalists and candidates rarely do: Presidential campaigns don’t matter much in determining winners and losers.
Despite all the noise from the campaign trail — from the onslaught of TV ads to the daily rallies to the frenzied news coverage — factors beyond either candidate’s control largely determine the result, according to this school of thought. So much is already baked into a presidential contest that even the best managed and most effective campaign (or the most incompetent one) can’t move the needle too far.
The entire article is worth a close read.