Extremely accurate election prediction model has Biden winning North Carolina – and reelection

Extremely accurate election prediction model has Biden winning North Carolina – and reelection

Every four years since 2008, pundits and journalists posit that “this could be the election that sees North Carolina go blue again” – and every four years since then it’s turned out that “this” election wasn’t the one that turned North Carolina blue – but that could change in November.

According to Moody’s Analytics election model, which is likely the most accurate national model forecast, President Joe Biden will win reelection “by a thin margin with average voter turnout,” thanks to victories in swing states, including North Carolina.

Swing state polling so far has yet to paint a pretty picture for Biden’s reelection chances, but the Moody’s Analytics model is different than your average text or phone poll. According to The News & Observer, this model uses economic data to predict election results because, historically, the economy is one of the strongest predictors of presidential elections. 

Moody’s model has perfectly predicted the winner of every presidential election since President Harry Truman’s win in 1948, except for 2020 because that election was considered an outlier due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That means Moody’s has been right in 18 out of the last 19 elections, which makes the model 95% accurate so far. If you take out the one outlier, Moody’s forecast has never been wrong.

Justin Begley, a Moody’s economist and co-author of the report, explained to The N&O that there are three major factors for why their model has North Carolina going for Biden.

According to Begley, the first factor is that Donald Trump only won North Carolina in 2020 by a 1.34% margin, which was less than 75,000 votes. North Carolina was Trump’s narrowest victory and was the only state he won in which he received less than 50% of the vote. Those close margins are why the Biden campaign has made North Carolina one of their top priorities in 2024 and why pro-Biden groups will be spending tens of millions of dollars in the Tar Heel State.

The second factor is that North Carolina’s electorate is changing quickly. The state has seen especially strong population growth since 2020, including among immigrants and people who have relocated here. North Carolina has seen large numbers of residents coming from blue states, which could end up working in Democrats’ favor.

“That carries the potential to make North Carolina at the very least look a little bit more purple, and in 2024, our baseline would be that it actually makes North Carolina blue for this upcoming election,” Begley told The N&O.

The third major factor is North Carolina’s economy. The state’s economy has been strong and the projected income growth of residents is above the national average, Begley said. Unsurprisingly, a strong economy and more money in voters’ bank accounts tend to create momentum for incumbent presidents – and that could give Biden bigger numbers in November.

One thing to note is that Moody’s model predicts a 0.3% margin of victory for Biden in North Carolina. Even a small change in variables accounted for in the model could change the outcome from a slim win to a slim loss. As will likely be the case in every swing state this fall, the results of the election will be extremely close, so ensuring that you are eligible, registered and prepared to vote is of the utmost importance.

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Patrick Zarcone

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