Doug Kass on The Business of Politics
By Doug Kass 10/22/12 - 12:00 PM EDT
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This column originally appeared on Real Money Pro at 8:30 a.m. EDT on Oct. 22.
NEW YORK (Real Money) -- My baseline expectation is that the November election is still the President's election to lose and that Obama will win with a reasonably comfortable electoral college margin of victory (of 35 or more votes) and with a majority of the popular vote. I am also assuming that the Democratic Party maintains (in a cliffhanger) control of the Senate, while the Republican Party easily keeps control of the House of Representatives. I am not injecting my own political view. Rather, I am drawing from the most thoughtful and balanced polls extant, with my baseline election outcome being heavily weighted by the input from "Nate Silver's Political Calculus," as I have found his methodology to be more analytical and objective than most of the other pollsters and, most importantly, his past forecasts have proven to be among the most correct. Silver predicts that Obama has a 68% chance of winning (I am at 65%, see below); he projects Obama receiving a 50.0% popular vote vs. Romney's 48.9%; and he is forecasting that Obama wins 288 electoral college votes against Romney's 249 electoral college votes. In addition, my base case is partially influenced by Intrade and RealClearPolitics, which could change in the days ahead. While I am mindful of the general view that a Republican presidential and Senate win next month would be more market- and business-friendly than a Democratic win, there is little historical correlation between stock market and economic health based on which of the two Parties' nominees win. I can show as many examples, over time, when a Republican presidency is not market- and business-friendly as I can in demonstrating that a Republican presidency is market- and business-friendly. The same holds true for the Democratic Party. Sometimes a Democratic victory presages economic growth and a vibrant stock market, but the opposite occurs with about the same frequency. (I will spare you the historical comparisons because you will, no doubt, be inundated with these historical tables over the next two weeks.) In reality, we have to recognize that every political cycle's impact on the business and market cycle is nuanced and can't be easily generalized.