CONTACT: MARY GERAGHTY
100 Old Public Library
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0011; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: Sept. 14, 2000
UI professor predicts Democratic majority in House after November elections
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa political scientist Michael Lewis-Beck
said the Democrats will regain the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives
following the November elections. Lewis-Beck, whose election forecasts have
a strong record of accuracy, used a forecast model based on the economy, the
president's popularity, and an index of voters' expectations for the economic
future to predict a net gain of 24 House seats for the Democrats.
Lewis-Beck announced his forecast for the Presidential election last month,
predicting Democratic candidate Al Gore would win with 55.4 percent of the
two-party popular vote. Lewis-Beck's presidential forecast is based on the
same model he used in 1996 when he forecast the exact percentage of the vote
that President Clinton would win.
"The Congressional model is not as rock solid," Lewis-Beck cautioned,
noting that it has a margin of error of +/- 11 seats. However, even accounting
for the margin, the Democrats stand to gain at least 13 seats in the House
of Representatives, giving them the majority.
Lewis-Beck and Charles Tien, a former UI graduate student who collaborates
with him on election forecasting, have launched a Web site detailing the election
2000 forecast. The site, http://urban.hunter.cuny.edu/~ctien/,
explains the mathematics behind the forecast and provides links to the external
economic and polling sources Lewis-Beck and Tien rely on. Tien is an assistant
professor of political science at Hunter College in New York.