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Election forecasters expect GOP to pick up five seats apiece in U.S. Senate, House

St. Thomas professors Faletta, Taylor present findings at Blinn’s Brenham, Bryan campuses

October 13, 2014

Dr. Jean-Philipe FalettaAfter more than a decade predicting election outcomes, a pair of University of St. Thomas political science professors predicted that Republicans will win five seats apiece in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives.

Dr. Jean-Philipe Faletta and Jon Taylor presented the election forecasting model to Blinn College students and faculty on the College’s Brenham and Bryan campuses Monday, describing the data they use to make their predictions and describing the key factors in this year’s elections.

Faletta and Taylor indicated that neither party will get huge gains from year’s elections, as polling data shows both the Democratic and Republican parties have low voter confidence. They identified eight key issues that will impact midterm elections across the nation:

 

  • The percentage of people polled who say the country is either going the right direction or on the wrong track
  • Presidential job approval ratings
  • Consumer confidence
  • Public approval of the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare
  • Party affiliation
  • Democratic/Republican Party favorability ratings
  • The generic congressional ballot test
  • Foreign policy/terrorism.

Faletta, an associate professor of political science at St. Thomas, and Taylor, St. Thomas’ political science chair, are noted experts on campaigns, elections and politics and have written numerous articles on the science of election forecasting.

They have been predicting election results since 2004, including predictive models for the Texas gubernatorial race since 2006, Congressional elections since 2008 and the Houston mayoral election since 2009. They began constructing their presidential election model during the 2000 election, and it has accurately predicted the results of each presidential election since 1952 within 0.58 percent.

Taylor teaches public administration, public policy and statistics and quantitative methodology at St. Thomas, where he has been the department of political science chair since 2003 and an associate professor since 1998. This is his fifth appearance at Blinn’s Brenham campus but his first visit to Blinn-Bryan.

Faletta has taught American political institutions, American political processes, political methodology and Russian government and politics at St. Thomas since 2006.

The presentation was hosted by Blinn’s Division of Social Sciences, which offers courses in anthropology, criminal justice, geography, government, history, legal assistance, psychology and sociology.

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