Mackerras pendulum for 2012 US presidential election

Posted by

Australian politics doesn’t have anything like the US presidential election but the need to win a majority of electoral votes is not all that much different from having to win a majority of electorates. In both systems a win can still occur even with a lower vote than your opponent.

It’s surprising then that you do not see a Mackerras pendulum produced for US presidential elections. Is this very useful tool only applied in Australia?

So here is my attempt at constructing one.

Since there is no notion of a two party preferred vote in the US, I have used Obama’s share of the Democrat + Republican vote at the 2008 election. That is I removed the impact of minor parties though they only received 1.5% of the vote in 2008.

Romney needs a 4.55% swing compared to the 2008 result to win the necessary 270 electoral votes to win. The key states will be North Carolina, Indiana, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Colorado. That said, if Romney can win Pennsylvania, with its 20 votes, that will change the calculus considerably.

At the moment, Romney is behind on the electoral math according to polls. His numbers have improved since he won the Republican primary though.

It should be a close race.