Political Science Makes A Prediction

Robert Fair makes his usual calculation:

The current forecast (dated October 29, 2010) of the Democratic share of the two-party House vote is 49.22 percent. This has changed only slightly since last October. The equation has always predicted a close election. The current forecast is based on actual (preliminary) economic values, values that were released by the BEA on October 29, 2010. INFLATIONCC is 0.97 percent, and GOODNEWSCC is 1. The low inflation is good for the Democratic party, but the fact that there is only one good news quarter is not. On net, the Democrats are predicted to get slightly less than half of the two-party vote, 49.22 percent. This is down from 53.4 percent in 2008 for the on-term House vote.

I do not have an equation that translates the vote share into House seats, and so I have no prediction of House seats.

Bartlett argues that the result is basically pre-ordained by economic factors. Certainly, it would appear that what's about to happen seems mightily similar to 1982 and 1994 - or indeed almost any first presidential term mid-term since 1862, when the president's party takes a hit. (2002 is a strange one because of the proximity to 9/11).