Election Forecast Expert Visits NIU

Oct 18, 2012

A political expert known for forecasting presidential races spoke at Northern Illinois University Thursday night. Based on his model, Alan Abramowitz gives President Obama a slight edge over Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

Abramowitz is a political scientist at Emory University. He uses a system that includes a handful of variables. Those include the president's approval rating, the growth rate of the economy in the second quarter, and the incumbency factor. Abramowitz says without the third item on the list, Mr. Obama would be trailing.

In addition to his forecast, Abramowitz says when you take into account all the polls, including the ones in swing states, President Obama appears to hold a very small lead. But he says no matter who wins the race for the White House, they'll have a hard time pushing through their agenda. He says that's because it appears Democrats will still control the Senate, while Republicans will still hold a majority in the House, leading to more gridlock on Capitol Hill.

Thursday night’s speech was part of the presidential speaker series hosted by NIU and WNIJ. The last event will be held two days after the election on November 8th. It will feature former House Speaker Dennis Hastert and former Congressman Bill Lipinski.