Nate Silver, for those of ya'll who don't know, was the cat who used regression analysis and predicted the 2008 Senate election with 100% accuracy, the 2008 House election accurately down to the county with the except of some oddball county in Nebraska, he predicted which way every state would vote in the general election save Indiana, and he predicted Obama would defeat John McCain in the general election by 6.1 percentage points (it actually turned out to be 7.2 percentage points). He also predicted that the Republicans would pick up the House and that the Democrats would retain the Senate in the 2010 midterm election. Apparently, despite all of the nonsense spouted by political pundits, news anchors and TV talk shows about the complex psyche of the American people, it turns out that the American people are actually fairly predictable. Down to a science in fact. After word got out about the political Nostradamus, new organizations offered Silver millions of dollars for his services. So when it comes to election results, if this guy chooses to speak, you should choose to listen.
Silver has done it again. This time he's put out his prediction results about the 2012 election looking at 5 different match ups:
1. Obama vs. Cain
2. Obama vs. Romney
3. Obama vs. Perry
4. Obama vs. Bachmann
5. Obama vs. Huntsman
Assuming that Obama's approval rating stays around its current average of 43%, the analysis shows some interesting results that basically turn on whether the economy (i) stays where its at, (ii) improves slightly, or (iii) actually shows noticeable signs of improvement.
First, the obvious, if the economy stays where it's at, Obama loses to every single Republican candidate in a head to head match up except for Michelle Bachmann (how bad do you suck as a human being that you can't beat an incumbent President in a bad economy?).
Next, if the economy improves just a little bit (2.3% GDP growth) then Obama only loses to 2 Republicans: John Huntsman (73% to 27%) and Mitt Romney (60% to 40%).
Lastly, if the economy actually turns around (4% GDP growth) then Obama will defeat every single Republican candidate in the general election except for John Huntsman. And since Huntsman, ironically, has NO CHANCE at winning the Republican nomination, an improved economy effectively means that Obama stays in the White House for another 4 years.
Check out the interactive graphic HERE.
Now, it goes without saying, should some crazy event happen between now and 2012 -- like 3 ladies coming forward claiming some candidate sexually harassed them for example -- then all bets are off. But barring that unforeseen game changer, let's consider the following questions:
1. Do you agree with Silver on these predictions?
2. Has Silver lost his edge?
3. Does this lend any credibility to the theory that the Republicans are purposely trying to stagnate the economy?
4. The million dollar question: will the economy improve by 2012?