Moody’s predicts presidential elections. I guess they’re good at it. They got it wrong once in 40 years. That was 2016. So, should we believe them when they say Trump will win 2020 in a landslide?
This state-level approach has an impressive, though no longer perfect, track record. In 2016, our models failed to correctly predict the Electoral College vote for the first time. Although there were certainly some unique factors at play in 2016, back-testing and other post-mortem analysis showed that there were model versions that could have correctly predicted the outcome. With these lessons in mind, we have retooled our modeling approach with the aim of putting together a prediction for the 2020 election.
While there is new modeling incorporated for the 2020 prediction at the end of the day it is still the economy, stupid. People vote with their wallets, and when things are looking good or better, they tend to turn out to protect that position. Incumbent presidents whose tenure appears to have improved people’s lives get rehired.
Again, there are a lot of moving parts, and you should skim the report for more details, but the heart of the matter for Moody’s, interesting enough, is not just economics but gas prices.
Gas prices are something that most Americans observe almost daily. Most voters purchase fuel at frequent intervals, and even those without a car see gas prices advertised, making it one of the most visible high frequency economic indicators. Gasoline prices also serve as a useful proxy for energy prices in general and capture voter sentiment on everything from transportation costs to the cost of heating a home. When gasoline prices are rising, it creates a sentiment among Americans that things are getting worse, not better. This dissatisfaction with the status quo goes hand in hand with a tendency to vote the incumbent party out of office.
Didn’t I recently write about how New Hampshire’s incumbent Democrats are proposing a new scheme to raise gas prices? A tax that would drive prices higher without further culpability by the legislature. I did!
New Hampshire Democrats are going to take money from your pocket and your employers. They will shrink the state economy to grow government (for no reason) and if that harms your lifestyle or your job future too bad.
Let’s revisit that Moody’s quote.
When gasoline prices are rising, it creates a sentiment among Americans that things are getting worse, not better. This dissatisfaction with the status quo goes hand in hand with a tendency to vote the incumbent party out of office.
I hope the Republican party is paying attention. Moody’s Analytics just nailed their 2020 victory strategy to the State House door.
By the way, Moody’s says that “If the economy a year from now is the same as it is today, or roughly so,” Trump should win 2020 with 336 Electoral votes. He only lost New Hampshire by a fraction in 2016, all of it out-of-state students who should have voted absentee in some other state. If pro-Trump turnout is good, the down-ticket possibilities for Republicans are endless. Assuming they can take advantage of that.
It’s all about turnout, which we did not have in 2018 – which is why we lost so many seats.
But, New Hampshire Republicans can win, including US Senate and House Seats, if they can get Granite Stater’s to show up and vote their own fiscal self-interest. Not much else matters to the voters who tip elections.