Did The Last Two Months Happen?
So I have all of these memories: Clint Eastwood talking to a chair, Mitt Romney opposing abortion, Mitt Romney being kind of ok with abortion, President Obama nodding off during the debate; so it seems like it has been an eventful couple of months. However, the polls are now just about where they were two months ago and most models have President Obama as a very slight favorite to win next month. Matt Dickinson says we shouldn’t be surprised.
If the collective wisdom of the fundamentals-based forecast models is to be believed, then, the election was likely to be a dead heat. Note that political scientists do not argue that campaigns—including debates—are inconsequential. Instead, they assume that each side effectively frames the fundamentals in ways that play to their candidate’s strengths, and negates their opponent’s. The net impact of campaigns, therefore, tends to be minimal, as each side counters the impact of the other’s framing efforts, making a forecast based solely on the fundamentals quite prescient.
Dickinson goes on to say that we are in for a photo finish. I tend to think that the last three debates will break the way of the Democrats (note I did think the last one would go Romney’s way) but, then, again I’m an optimist.