Every four years, Moody’s Analytics uses its economic analysis to predict which candidate will be elected president of the United States. This prediction gets a lot of attention for a very good reason: It hasn’t been wrong since 1980. Using a comprehensive consideration of gas prices, home sales, and income growth, Moody’s usually gets it right on the money.
This year, their election model predicts that Hillary Clinton will win in November.
According to Moody’s, there are two powerful reasons to suspect that Clinton will win: gas prices and President Obama’s approval ratings.
“We’re currently in the largest decline in gas prices we’ve had going back to World War II,” said Dan White, Moody’s analyst, in an interview with National Public Radio.
He said that whichever party holds the White House typically gets credit for falling gas prices, even if they had little to do with the decrease themselves.
As for Obama’s approval ratings, they are above 50% for the first time since 2012. If they stay static or rise between now and the election, it will make it tough for Donald Trump to overcome the realities of history.
Moody’s final electoral college tally was Hillary: 332 against Trump: 206.
A few points to consider…
First, it’s easy to look at a record like “Correct every year since 1980” and give it more weight than it actually deserves. Eight in a row is not a bad history of success, but it doesn’t sound quite as impressive as “Correct for 35 years running.” Especially when you consider some of the all-but-preordained contests that happened in some of these years. How much credit does Moody’s really get for predicting that Clinton would beat Dole or that Reagan would defeat Mondale?
Second, it doesn’t appear that Moody’s took into account the biggest wildcard of 2016: namely, Trump himself. Anyone who thinks they can predict the outcome of this election based on anything found in recent history is sorely mistaken.
Like all predictions, punditry, and polls, take this one with a grain of salt.