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Political scientist Dr. Rachel Bitecofer develops unique forecasting model.

Fresh off predicting the outcome of the 2018 midterm elections months ahead of other forecasters, Christopher Newport University political scientist Rachel Bitecofer says the same factors driving Democrats’ 2018 success will be in play for 2020 so long as Donald Trump is president. Bitecofer, assistant director of CNU’s Wason Center for Public Policy, predicted the 2018 Democratic “blue wave” months in advance using the Negative Partisanship Model. The unique forecasting methodology she developed at the Wason Center also allowed her to foresee the “blue wave” in Virginia’s 2017 election, a phenomenon missed by other analysts. “What we know about voter behavior largely pre-dates the polarized era,” she said. “But if the rest of American politics is affected by the high levels of polarization currently gripping our system, it makes sense that voters are also impacted.” Bitecofer argues the sharp swings in recent midterm elections are from the entrance and exit of partisan voters who are activated or deactivated by negative partisanship: “Out-of-power partisans, in this case Democrats, vote because fear motivates, especially fear that comes from seeing the opposition party enact the wrong policies and stack federal courts with the wrong judges. “Negative partisanship can already tell us two things about the 2020 presidential election. First, that the Democratic Party field will be large, possibly surpassing the unprecedented 2016 Republican primary field. Second, Democrats will be buoyed by the same enthusiasm advantage that propelled them in 2018.” About the Wason Center: The Judy Ford Wason Center for Public Policy was established in 2007 to provide unbiased and nonpartisan scientific research about public policy issues facing Virginia and has developed a growing national reputation for its accurate surveys and election forecasts, including the 2016, 2017 and 2018 elections. About Rachel Bitecofer: Bitecofer’s research and the Negative Partisanship Model have been featured in many media outlets including The Washington Post, USA Today, The New York Times, Huffington Post, and NPR. She is also a regular contributor on CBC Radio. About CNU: A four-year public university in Newport News, Virginia, Christopher Newport University enrolls 5,000 students in rigorous academic programs in the arts and sciences, offering great teaching and small class sizes as well as an emphasis on leadership, civic engagement and honor. Further information: contact CNU’s Jim Hanchett,, or (757) 594-7699 SOURCE Christopher Newport University Related Links]]>

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