Third Time Lucky? Surveys Successfully Predicting Election Outcomes

By Rosie Saxe

A majority of Americans continue to believe that Democratic President Barack Obama will win the re-election on Tuesday over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

According to interviews carried out from the 27th -28th of October by Gallup Daily election tracking survey, who asked ‘Regardless of whom you support, and trying to be as objective as possible, who do you think will win the election?’ Obama leads 54% to Romney’s 34%.

 Whilst Americans have correctly predicted the outcome of the presidential elections in final surveys from Gallup taken in the last two elections, will they do it again this year?

The composition of the electorate for the 2012 presidential election is looking quite similar to what it was in 2008 as well as 2004 according to research carried out about the ‘Demographics of Likely Voters’ by Gallup polls.

It is predicted that key elements of President Obama’s electoral coalition such as young adults, racial minorities, women and postgraduates will likely turn out at rates similar to those in 2008.

 Considering the similar demographic composition of the 2012 and 2008 electorates, the election’s outcome may depend more on how groups vote rather than to what extent they will vote.

Although most groups are currently less likely to support Obama now than they were in 2008, Obama’s seven-point margin of victory in the 2008 election leaves him considerable margin to lose electoral support yet still win the 2012 election.

The 2012 presidential election outcome will help determine how accurate Americans are in their personal predictions.

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