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Economic Election model: Clinton will win easily

Democratic chances of winning the White House remain strong, according to a closely followed economic election model.

Moody’s Analytics is forecasting that Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, will easily win the presidency in November over Republican Donald Trump, the June forecast predicts.

The latest model shows for the fourth straight month that the Democratic nominee will win 332 electoral votes, compared with 206 for the Republican nominee. The model chooses a party, not a candidate, to win.

“The closer we come to election day, the more that two-year change is based in history and less on our economic forecasts,” said Dan White, a Moody’s economist who oversees the monthly model.

“With just over four months left to election day, the chances of an economic forecast error distorting the results are fading,” he said.

“This ups the confidence level in the model’s results, though forecast risks are always present, especially when it comes to politics.”

Moody’s bases its forecast on a two-year change of the economic variables, from the third quarter of 2014 to the third quarter of this year.

A slight increase in gasoline prices modestly improved Republican chances, but that shift was offset in part by higher incomes, house prices and President Obama’s rising approval rating.

The latest Gallup poll shows the president’s approval at 52 percent, up a point from last month.

Separately, a FiveThirtyEight election forecast gives Clinton a 79.2 percent chance of winning to Trump’s 20.7. In that forecast, Clinton would win 48.8 percent of the vote to Trump’s 42.

The former secretary of State is holding leads across most major polls.

Clinton leads Trump by 6 points, 47 to 41 percent, in a New York Times/CBS News poll. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll saw Clinton widen her lead to 51 to 39 percent from 46 to 44 in May.

In the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, Clinton holds a 46 to 41 percent advantage, though the race is essentially tied when third-party candidates are included.

Fox News has the Democrat up 44-38 percent over Trump in a head-to-head matchup.

Moody’s model awards Electoral College votes to each party based on state-by-state outcomes.

Two states, Maine and Nebraska, allow electoral votes to be split by congressional district.

The model, which has predicted every election correctly since it was created in 1980, has forecasted a Democratic victory since the release of its first run in July 2015.

The most important economic variable is income growth by state, including job and wage growth, hours worked and the quality of the jobs being created in the two years leading up to an election. The model also factors in home and gasoline prices on a state level, as well as presidential approval numbers.

The Moody’s equation also includes an additional dummy variable that penalizes Democrat incumbents, stemming from the theory that Democrats and Democrat-leaning independent voters are more likely to switch sides and vote for a Republican candidate than vice versa.

source: The Hill, by Vicki Needham, July 1, 2016

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