Nate Silver releases his 2012 election forecast

For those who are interested, I highly recommend visiting Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight website at least once a week between now and election day:

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/

For those not familiar, Nate Silver is a statistician who is widely respected by journalists and political scientists alike. He pretty much nailed the 2008 presidential election, and I’d take his 2012 projections (which are now posted on his website) with as much seriousness as any other source of election statistics.

His forecasting model is based entirely on two variables: polling data and economic indicators. He aggregates the polls from each state, giving each poll a different weight based on the accuracy of their past performance. Then he adds relevant economic data derived from previous political science research, and voila! I think this is about as accurate as we’re going to get.

As of today, he’s predicting a 62% chance of an Obama re-election. He’s quick to point out, though, that this could change very quickly if economic indicators change between now and November. Obama’s reelection is tied just as much to the economies of Europe as it is GDP and real income growth in the U.S.

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