Professor Ray Fair who published Predicting Presidential Elections And Other Things has called the winner for every election since since he started predicting in 1978 (with the exception of 1992). So we should listen carefully to what he has to say this time around.
In an email earlier today Fair writes, "My work explaining voting behavior suggests that the economy has an important influence on votes for president. If the economy is good, voters are more likely to vote for the incumbent party, and vice-versa if the economy is bad. For the current election the Republican party is the incumbent party and the economy is bad. Not surprisingly, my vote equation predicts that McCain will lose. It predicts that he will get about 48 percent of the two-party vote. The economic data that the equation uses for this prediction end in September, and the economic news in October has been really bad. This suggests that McCain may do worse that the vote equation is predicting he will do, since voters may be influenced by the October events."