The latest political predictor

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The Hospitality Research Group of PKF Consulting is getting into the presidential prognosticating game: Hotel occupancy rates, they say, can predict who will be elected come Tuesday.

    [HRG’s Executive Managing Director Mark Woodworth] explained that since 1929, national hotel occupancies have increased on 12 occasions during Presidential election years. The Democratic candidate won 75 percent of these elections. Since HRG is forecasting an occupancy increase in 2004 over 2003, it is also predicting a Kerry win (maybe).

    “However, to quote Mark Twain, ‘there are lies, damned lies and statistics’,” Woodworth added. “This election year, we see some additional variables.

    “Since the current administration has had to deal with the events of 9/11, SARS, wars, recession, etc., we analyzed the data in two additional ways,” he continued.

    1. Since 1929, hotel occupancies have declined eight times during the first year of a Presidential administration. In five of those eight times, the incumbent party was kept in office for the following term. Since hotel occupancies declined in Bush’s first term, this suggests he has a 62.5 percent chance of re-election.

    2. Nine times since 1929, hotel occupancies have increased during the first year of the administration. Six out of these nine times, the party that had been in charge was the very same party that had occupied the White House for the previous four years. Since HRG is forecasting hotel occupancies to increase again in 2005, this also suggests that Bush will be re-elected.

As for me, I'll wait until the votes are in (which hopefully will happen next Tuesday this time around).

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