The 2012 Forecast

If you’re wondering whether Barack Obama will be re-elected in 2012, there’s no better place to look at this point than the latest Federal Reserve projections detailed in the newly released minutes (PDF) of their most recent meeting:

What does that mean? Well, it means he should win if the numbers come in on the high end of the range but he has a very realistic chance of losing. How seriously should we take these forecasts? My sense is that we shouldn’t take them that seriously—modelers do their best but their best isn’t very good. As I kept saying in 2008, election outcomes are hard to predict in advance. But getting a bunch of political reports together in a room to speculate on it doesn’t get at the real source of the uncertainty, which is the fact that our economic projections are fairly uncertain.