Election model gives Clinton 332 electoral votes

Election model gives Clinton 332 electoral votes
© Getty Images

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonJill Biden takes starring role at difficult Olympics Club for Growth goes after Cheney in ad, compares her to Clinton Sanders to campaign for Turner in Ohio MORE has a big advantage in the race for the White House, a closely followed economic election model from Moody's Analytics reported Monday.

The model forecasts that Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, will win 332 electoral votes, while Republican nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE will win 206 electoral votes.

ADVERTISEMENT

President Obama's strong popularity and low gas prices are boosting Clinton's chances of wining the White House, Moody's said. Still, an economist cautioned that this year's race for the White House is "unusual" and hard to predict.

“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 very 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.

The most important economic variable in the forecast 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.

White said that only a few data points remain uncollected before a final projection is made in about a month, just ahead of the November election.

The biggest question mark is outstanding state-by-state personal income figures, which will be reported in the next several days.

“Disappointing income numbers, coupled with a shock to gasoline prices and President Obama’s approval rating would be the only scenario to realistically alter the model projection at this point,” White said.

The model, which chooses a party, not a candidate, to win, awards Electoral College votes based on state-by-state outcomes.

The model shows a clear Clinton victory with the candidates slated to face off in their first presidential debate on Monday night.

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 22 states, one more than the August forecast, with two more leaning red, giving its candidate 206 electoral voters.

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 model forecast in July 2015.

The Moody’s equation also includes a dummy variable that penalizes Democrat incumbents, stemming from the theory that Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters are more likely to switch sides and vote for a Republican candidate than vice versa.