Ah, the Electoral College -- the quirk of American politics that means that you and I don't elect the President; we elect "electors" that do. And that means that sometimes the popular vote goes one way the Electoral College goes another.Remember 2000, George W. Bush won the Electoral College but Al Gore received more popular votes - about 544,000 more than Mr. Bush. In this election, polls show a very tight race, but a new analysis that focuses strictly on the Electoral College shows Mitt Romney running away with it. The analysis, was conducted by two University of Colorado professors, Ken Bickers and Michael Berry -- and has successfully chosen every U.S. President since 1980. The Professors' model stresses the economy, state and national jobless figures as well as income. On both scores the President's record has come up short. Despite emerging from recession two years ago, unemployment has stayed above 8% for 42 months. Income figures are anemic too. A Pew survey released just this week shows middle class incomes have fallen from nearly $73,000 in 2000 to barely over $69,000 in 2010. Worse, median net worth for the middle class has eroded dramatically, down 28% in the same period, erasing two decades of gains. The professors believe those kinds of numbers impact the major parties differently: voters hold Democrats more responsible for unemployment rates while Republicans are held more responsible for income numbers. That distinction may not matter this time around as both numbers are anemic. What's more, Obama faces the headwinds of history. No President since FDR has been re-elected when unemployment is above 8%. 270 is the magic number, who ever crosses that line wins. But Romney trounces Obama winning 320 electoral votes to Obama's 218. Romney takes every single swing state including Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio. The key to Romney winning is the economy, and it doesn't look like it's going to improve much before Election Day. In fact, economists say it may get worse. In order for Obama to win according to the Bickers-Berry model, unemployment would have to be down to at least 5.6%. And unfortunately for millions of out-of-work Americans that's not going to happen anytime soon.
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