Low gas prices and President Obama’s rising popularity are bolstering Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRepublicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves Poll: Democracy is under attack, and more violence may be the future Popping the progressive bubble MORE's chances of winning the White House, according to a closely followed economic election model from Moody's Analytics.
The August model forecasts that Clinton will notch a win over Trump, in part thanks to historically low gas prices and Obama’s popularity.
The model, which chooses a party, not a candidate, to win, awards Electoral College votes based on state-by-state outcomes.
The most important economic variable is income growth by state, including job and wage growth, hours worked and the quality of the jobs being created in the two years leading up to an election.
The latest forecast puts 16 states, which includes Washington, D.C., firmly in Democratic territory, with 11 more leaning in that direction for a total of 332 electoral votes.
Republicans hold comfortable leads in 21 states, with three more leaning red, giving its candidate 206 electoral voters.
“It’s important to once again note that the model’s projections are solely a reflection of economic and political conditions upon the incumbent party, and do not take any aspects of the individual candidates into account,” said Dan White, a Moody’s economist who compiles the monthly model.
“Given the unusual nature of the 2016 election cycle to date, it is possible that voters will react to changing economic and political conditions differently than they have in past election cycles, placing some risk in the model outcome,” White said.
Moody's, which has predicted every election correctly since it was created in 1980, has forecast a Democratic victory since the release of its first run in July 2015.
With no major shift expected in gas prices or Obama’s popularity in the two months leading up to the November election, the model is unlikely to move into Trump’s favor, Moody's suggested.
The Moody’s equation also includes a dummy variable that penalizes Democrat incumbents, stemming from the theory that Democrats and Democrat-leaning independent voters are more likely to switch sides and vote for a Republican candidate than vice versa.