Presidential Vote Equation--January 29, 2000
Given the latest NIPA data, there are 6 quarters from 1997:1 on in which the per capita real growth rate has exceeded 3.2 percent: 1997:1, 1997:2, 1998:1, 1998:4, 1999:3, and 1999:4. There are thus 6 good news quarters so far that are relevant for the 2000 election. Given the actual data through 1999:4 and the January 29, 2000, US model forecast, the predicted values of p15, n, and g3 are 1.8 percent, 6, and 2.1 percent, respectively. (No more good news quarters are forecast.) Using these values and the estimated vote equation, the predicted value for V is .479. The election is thus predicted to be close, with an edge for the Republicans.

If the economy grows faster between now and the election than the US model is predicting, the predicted vote could swing in favor of the Democrats. (The US model has been underpredicting real growth for the last three years by about 2 percentage points---see The Forecasting Record of the US Model.) If, for example, g3 turns out to be 4.1 instead of 2.1 and if n turns out to be 8 instead of 6 (with p15 remaining the same at 1.8 percent), then the predicted value of V is .512, which is a Democratic victory. If, on the other hand, the stock market crashs and the economy goes into a recession, the Republicans would be predicted to win easily.