University Professors Predict Outcome of Presidential Race

Article excerpt

Byline: Jeff Wright The Register-Guard

Talk about your bold predictions: Two University of Oregon economic professors say they know who's going to win the presidential election - and by how much.

It will be Sen. Barack Obama prevailing over Sen. John McCain by 52 percent to 48 percent in the popular vote.

So say Stephen Haynes and Joe Stone in a new academic paper called "A Disaggregate Approach to Economic Models of Voting in U.S. Presidential Elections."

The paper doesn't analyze the Electoral College process, which determines the presidency, but rather the popular vote.

The professors' prediction is that Obama and McCain will campaign to a statistical dead-heat for the nationwide vote. But by looking at state income levels, the two say McCain is likely to draw his greatest support from lower-income states while Obama will draw from higher-income states. The highest income states, such as California and New York, have large populations, giving Obama the edge, the professors predict.

Specifically, Haynes and Stone found that lowest-income states prefer McCain by 55.4 percent to 44.6 percent, while the highest-income states prefer Obama by 53.3 percent to 46.7 percent. Middle-income states are almost evenly split between the two candidates. …