Election Model Predicts Democratic Landslide in 2016

Moody's latest election model says, if economic conditions remain the same, particularly if gasoline prices remain low, the Democratic nominee in 2016 should win a whopping 326 electoral votes to the Republican nominee's 212.

This is a dramatic change from the July model that showed a near tie, with the Democratic nominee with 270 electoral votes to 268 for the Republican. These numbers would hold no matter who the eventual nominee is.

Since voters tend to vote with their wallets, falling gas prices are shifting the status of many swing states toward the Democrats instead of the Republicans.

Plummeting prices and changing dynamics in global energy markets from Chinese weakness and the Iranian nuclear deal have caused us to significantly lower our gasoline price forecast for the next several years. This variable is very significant to voter sentiment in the model, with lower prices favoring incumbents.

It is important to note that the model does not reflect results if an election were held today, but relies on Moody's Analytics economic forecasts to determine what the world will look like in November 2016. Should gasoline prices rebound above the current baseline forecast by election time, the results of the model will move more in favor of the challenging Republicans. The forecast for house prices also accelerated moderately.