As of this writing, John Mahama’s chance of a first round win per our model is at 27%; down from a high of 31.4%.
This drop is entirely from our August Poll where a combined 28% of voters were either undecided or planning to vote for a 3rd party — both factors severely constraining Mahama’s chances.
Once we incorporated the results of our poll, Mahama saw his chances drop in almost all regions except 2.
The big caveat though is that given the fact that Nana Addo is the incumbent, an increase in the chances of a run-off is ultimately good for Mahama even if his chances of a win are dropping too.
So which regions saw a boost to Mahama’s chances?
North East – prior to the update, Mahama’s odds stood at 70.5%, making him the favorite to win this swing region. He now stands at slightly above 71%. It’s a tiny chance but given the outsized importance of swing regions in Ghana’s elections, any positive movement in a candidate’s odds is welcome news.
Upper East – another small positive shift saw Mahama’s chances going from 88.3% to 90%. Indeed the Upper East region was one out of only 3 regions where the model thinks the elections are becoming less competitive. The other two were North East (mentioned above) and Western (where Nana Addo is getting stronger).
In sum, John Mahama and the NDC have their work cut out for them. The good news is that our August poll showed Nana Addo barely holding onto a majority of support. The bad news is that a whopping 28% of voters remain undecided or are planning to vote for a 3rd party. That implies that Mahama’s appeal and the NDC’s campaign promises are not coming through in a real way. Mahama and the NDC will need to win about 85% of this group in order to have a real shot at winning.
Our current forecast gives him a 27% chance of winning compared to Nana Addo’s 60%. 27% is small but it’s not insignificant. Donald Trump won the 2016 US election with only a 30% chance. Small movements in support really do count.