Unexpectedly Intriguing!
June 17, 2008

Weather Vane Will Franklin finds the political climate being faced by the Republican Party this year to be, in a word, terrible.

But how bad is it really? To quantify the odds, Will turned to the Electoral Barometer, which was recently featured in an article by Alan Abromowitz at Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball '08.

The Electoral Barometer is a mathematical formula that features the things we need to stand back and objectively account for two key factors when looking at the U.S. presidential campaign: the popularity of the incumbent, as measured by their Net Approval Rating (the spread between the President's favorable and unfavorable job approval rating) and the strength of the economy, as measured by the annualized real (inflation-adjusted) growth rate of GDP.

If you know us, you know where this is going! All you need is to enter the appropriate data into the tool below - we'll do the math so you can see how likely the likelihood of either the candidate of the current incumbent presidential party or the candidate of the challenging political party will go on to the White House:

Popularity and Economic Data
Input Data Values
Current President's Net Approval Rating [%]
Annual Growth Rate of Real GDP [%]

Which Way Do the Political Winds Blow?
Calculated Results Values
Electoral Barometer Score

The default data in the tool is current as of 17 June 2008. As such, the GDP data is that for the most current revision of the first quarter of 2008.

In the results above, a negative result indicates that the political climate favors the candidate of the opposing political party, rather than the the candidate hailing from the same political party as the current President. Likewise, a positive result suggests that the incumbent President's political party is favored to win the Presidency in the November elections.

Now, here's the thing. The data that drives this math changes frequently, so you'll definitely want to check back often as the political weather changes!

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About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

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