a1 University of West Florida
The October 2008 issue of PS published a symposium of presidential and congressional forecasts made in the summer leading up to the election. This article is an assessment of the accuracy of their models.
The presidential election forecast made with the Fiscal Model three months before Election Day put the incumbents' share of the two-party vote (VOTE2) at 48% (Cuzán and Bundrick 2008). As of the time of this writing, it appears the incumbent-party ticket of John McCain and Sarah Palin took a little less than that (around 46.5%). At 1.5%, the error is less than 2.3%, which is Campbell's (2008, 680) “benchmark” for a “quite accurate” forecast. This is the second time in a row that the Fiscal Model ranks among the best performers (Campbell 2005, 23).
Alfred G. Cuzán, professor of political science at the University of West Florida, developed the Fiscal Model in collaboration with Richard J. Heggen (civil engineering, University of New Mexico) and Charles M. Bundrick (mathematics and statistics, University of West Florida). In 2004, together with J. Scott Armstrong (marketing, the Wharton School) and Randall J. Jones, Jr. (political science, University of Central Oklahoma), he devised the Pollyvote, an application of the combination principle to election forecasting.
Charles M. Bundrick, professor emeritus of mathematics and statistics at the University of West Florida, is the author or co-author of more than 75 scholarly publications, including over half a dozen on American presidential elections.