Based on his economic election model, Yale University economist Ray Fair predicts that GOP nominee Mitt Romney will pull out a sparse victory in November.
Fair's model accounts for the winners of every election but two since 1916. The two--the 1960 election of John Kennedy and the 1992 election of Bill Clinton--are the only ones his economics-based electoral prediction model gets wrong.
Fair uses several economic indicators in his model to determine winners. Those factors include the per capita growth rate of the gross domestic product, inflation, and the number of quarters that the GDP grew more than 3.2% during the incumbent's term.
But even Fair's model predicts a race that is within his margin of error. Obama could still pull this out despite an economy that argues against his re-election.
As The Wall Street Journal's Justin Lahart postulates, this could be because voters don't exactly see the election in pure economic terms--and with this particular election being so close, that small differentiation between logical economic indicators and the emotional ties some voters have to their choice could easily upset Fair's economic prediction model this time out.
Still, Lahart also notes that since Friday's report that the economy grew at but a tiny 2% rate, the three most unfavorable statistics for Obama are "now in hand." These factors plugged into Fair's model would argue in favor of Mitt Romney winning on Election Day.