U. of Colorado Study: Romney Will Win Popular Vote

Campus Reform reports that a well-known University of Colorado study often respected for its accurate predictions reveals a 77% chance Mitt Romney will win the popular vote this November. However, as we know, the electoral college doesn’t always deliver the most popular president (and 77% isn’t exactly a sure thing). It’s simply food for thought, and a strong reminder to get to the ballot box and support your preferred candidate.

The University of Colorado (CU) prediction renowned for perfect accuracy will predict a popular-vote win for Mitt Romney later this month, Campus Reform has learned.

The poll has accurately predicted every presidential election since it was developed in 1980. It is unique in that it employs factors outside of state economic indicators to predict the next president.

CU Political Science Professor Dr. Michael Berry, who spoke with Campus Reform at length on Tuesday, said there is at least 77 percent chance that Romney will win the popular vote.

Professor Michael Berry from the University of Colorado told Campus Reform in an exclusive interview that there is a 77 percent chance Romney will win the popular vote.

“Our model indicates that Governor Romney has a 77 percent likelihood of winning the popular vote,” said Berry.

That number is significant, not only in its size, but because of the fact that only four presidents since the nation’s founding have won the presidency without capturing the popular vote, the last being George W. Bush in 2000.

Berry noted his model has never been wrong at predicting the outcome of a presidential election.

“For the last eight presidential elections, this model has correctly predicted the winner,” he said.

Berry also acknowledged that while his poll is accurate, however, that his model does not “calculate a specific confidence level for the Electoral College result.”

The study, conducted every four years, is non-political and employs historical data as well as current unemployment numbers and income levels.

In the crucial swing states of Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, a recent poll reveals that a majority of voters believe the health of the economy is the most important issue of this election.

Additionally, more than double of the respondents in a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll trust Romney over Obama to fix the economic state of our country (63%-29%).

Along with the economy, unemployment adds an element which only increases the probability of the CU prediction.

“The apparent advantage of being a Democratic candidate and holding the White House disappears when the national unemployment rate hits 5.6 percent,” Berry said.

Kenneth Bickers of CU-Boulder adds, “the incumbency advantage enjoyed by President Obama, though statistically significant, is not great enough to offset high rates of unemployment currently experienced in many of the states.”

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Candidates, Tell Us How You Lead

What’s missing in political debates? OK, that might be a dangerous way to phrase it. But a Governing magazine columnist offers one strong suggestion – that questions about executive leadership and decision-making style would be helpful additions for learning more about the candidates.

If I had my way, every presidential or gubernatorial or mayoral debate would include a required question designed to illuminate the candidates’ executive leadership and decision-making style. Of course, there still could be the usual questions concerning the tax returns of the candidates, or their stand on marriage, or whether they think that food stamps make people overly dependent on government. Above and beyond those questions, however, here are some (by no means an exhaustive list) that I would argue are more important. These suggestions focus on skills and behaviors relevant to governing (as opposed to politicking):

  • What qualities do you look for in members of your executive team? Are there particular qualities that you are seeking for all positions? How important is it that those selected for positions have deep knowledge or expertise in the relevant area? (Does the secretary of the Treasury, for example, have to have Wall Street experience—or would a track record of sound economic judgment, compliance with tax laws and demonstrated management skills be sufficient?)
  • Are you tolerant, even encouraging, of dissenting views? Or are you unable to manage yourself in the face of pushback, and therefore discourage it in those who serve you?
  • More generally, how do you use evidence when you make decisions? When pursuing a particular policy course, will you consult with stakeholders and available data and analysis, both inside and outside of government, prior to making a decision? Which factor matters more: whether an approach has proven effective or whether it keeps a political constituency happy?

There is frequently a tremendous disconnect between what it takes to be elected and what it takes to govern. Sometimes candidates’ campaigns do provide glimpses of executive style, but usually unwittingly. When Newt Gingrich’s entire campaign staff quit in June of 2011, they cited his lack of discipline as a reason for their mass resignation. But we need more than these rare, chance indicators to go on when we are choosing the people who will run our governments.

The fact that leadership, and executive style, are not discussed in political campaigns is just further evidence of the inadequacy of our prevailing political discourse. As a constituency, we fail to take responsibility for the reality that when we elect a president, a governor, a mayor or a county executive we are electing a leader-in-chief and a decision maker-in-chief. Trying to gain insight into how that leadership would be exercised—and the extent to which data, analysis, and reasoned debate would influence decision-making—seems a topic worthy of at least one question in a campaign debate.

Presidential Debates: The Numbers Game

Gearing up for tonight’s VP debate? Well, you’re certainly not alone.

And according to Nielsen (the ratings system, not Leslie the slapstick actor), 52.4 million concerned Americans tuned in to watch John McCain and Barack Obama engage in some good old verbal pugilism last Friday. However, the debate didn’t even crack into the top 10 of all time.

Check out some of these stats regarding debates of yesteryear. Looks like Carter vs. Reagan (1980) claims the most viewers, while the famous Nixon-Kennedy battles of 1960 still own the top three spots in percentage of households.

You’re probably saying, "Surely tonight’s event will rank near the top in VP debates, right?"

Well, you might be right — but don’t call me "Shirley."