Academic model: Romney will take 52.9% of the vote, 320 electoral votes

Three reasons why: Economy, economy, economy.

Supposedly, the model’s been accurate to within 20 or so electoral votes in every election since 1980. Dude?

Using a state-by-state analysis of unemployment and per-capita income, academics Kenneth Bickers and Michael Berry of the University of Colorado project that Romney will win 52.9% of the popular vote and 320 electoral votes. The political scientists discuss their findings here.

Their forecast suggests that President Obama will lose in almost all of the swing states, including North Carolina, Virginia, New Hampshire, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida…

Bickers said much of the polling thus far means relatively little, with much of the electorate still not focused on the race. The academics said their model focuses on the preeminent issue of the economy. Applied retrospectively, the model predicts the correct winner in every presidential contest going back to 1980, they said.

I’m highly skeptical that Romney’s going to come back to take Pennsylvania, even though O’s lead there right now isn’t prohibitive. But like the man says, the model’s usually off by 20 or so EVs. Number of electoral votes Pennsylvania has this year: 20. Golden.

Meanwhile, in the poll of polls

Of the last 10 national polls, two have Obama up by four points, three have him up by just one or two points, and the rest have the race either tied or with Romney ahead. The swing states are moving towards Romney too: Yesterday it was Michigan and Wisconsin, today it’s Nevada, where Obama’s lead has shrunk to two. I’m awfully curious to see where the polls are at this time next month, after Romney finally gets his formal introduction to undecideds at the convention and he and the RNC start to plow all of that cash they’ve stockpiled into negative ads. I’m skeptical that he can win by as large a margin as the model cited above imagines, but who knows what a terrible jobs report in October might mean?

Exit question: Can you spot the super-secret connection between the Bickers/Berry model and this clip? Click the image to listen.