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Forecasting 2012 United States Presidential election using Factor Analysis, Logit and Probit Models

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  • Sinha, Pankaj
  • Thomas, Ashley Rose
  • Ranjan, Varun

Abstract

Contemporary discussions on 2012 U.S Presidential election mention that economic variables such as unemployment rate, inflation, budget deficit/surplus, public debt, tax policy and healthcare spending will be deciding elements in the forthcoming November election. Certain researchers like Bartells and Zaller (2001), Lewis-Beck and Rice (1982), and Lichtman and Keilis-Borok (1996) have investigated the significance of non-economic variables in forecasting the U.S election. This paper investigates the influence of combination of various economic and non-economic variables as factors influencing the outcome of 2012 U.S Presidential election, using statistical factor analysis. The obtained factor scores are used to predict the vote share of the incumbent using regression model. The paper also employs logit and probit models to predict the probability of win for the incumbent candidate in 2012 U.S Presidential election. It is found that the factors combining above economic variables are insignificant in deciding the outcome of the 2012 election. The factor combining the non-economic variables such as Gallup Ratings, GIndex, wars and scandals has been found significantly influencing the public perception of the performance of the Government and its policies, which in turn affects the voting decision. The proposed factor regression model forecasts that the Democrat candidate Mr. Barack Obama is likely to get a vote share between 51.84% - 54.26% with 95% confidence interval in the forthcoming November 2012 U.S Presidential election. While, the proposed logit and probit models forecast the probability of win for the Democrat candidate Mr. Barack Obama to be 67.37% and 67.00%, respectively.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 42062.

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Date of creation: 15 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:42062

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Keywords: Factor Analysis; Logit and Probit model; 2012 U.S Presidential Election; Economic and non-economic variables;

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  1. Ray C. Fair, 1976. "The Effects of Economic Events on Votes for President," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 418, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Douglas Hibbs, 2000. "Bread and Peace Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 104(1), pages 149-180, July.
  3. Lichtman, Allan J., 2008. "The keys to the white house: An index forecast for 2008," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 301-309.
  4. Sinha, Pankaj & Sharma, Aastha & Singh, Harsh Vardhan, 2012. "Prediction for the 2012 United States Presidential Election using Multiple Regression Model," MPRA Paper 41486, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Sinha, Pankaj & Bansal, Ashok, 2008. "Hierarchical Bayes prediction for the 2008 US Presidential election," MPRA Paper 10470, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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