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The Boston Globe

Business

Formula has knack for picking presidents

Using two economic indicators and three political factors, one equation has predicted presidential winners with uncanny accuracy

Five bits of data. That’s all it takes for IHS Global Insight to predict with uncanny accuracy who will become the next president.

The Lexington economic forecasting firm takes two economic indicators plus three political variables, plugs them into a formula, and out pops the percentage of the popular vote the incumbent party is expected to win. The formula has correctly predicted the outcome in 14 of the last 16 presidential elections, in most cases projecting the vote within a couple of percentage points of the final results.

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