An article recently posted by The New York Times calculates a victory by Barack Obama if the election were held today.  The FiveThirtyEight forecast works by simulating the Electoral College, with inclusion of factors such as the economy.  The simulation also accounts for states’ patterns of behaving like geographically similar states rather than ones more distantly located.

The forecast model relies heavily on polling and this has been a very close polling year for the two presidential candidates.  State polls generally show a favored outcome to President Obama, while nationally the polls are too close to call.  It is noted, however, that changes to the economic situation could impact predictions as the election draws closer.

The article goes on to break down the possibility of a number of potential outcomes.  These include swing state potential, state by state projections, and scenario analysis.  The FiveThirtyEight forecasting model provides a simple way of looking at the projections and there will be updates throughout the summer.  Let us know what you think of this forecasting simulation!