My take has been that these economic models are based on the responses of voters who remembered the 1930s, and that they are a poor guide for today. Some might say that my view has been undercut by the fact that Barack Obama overtook John McCain in the polls during the financial frenzy that began with the collapse of Lehman Brothers on September 15. But I (and a lot of others of varying political persuasions) think this is more a matter of Obama seeming to remain calm while McCain--with his "suspension" of his campaign and his call for postponing the first presidential debate--seemed to be impulsive. And now Obama's statement to plumber Joe Wurzelbacher that he wanted to "spread the wealth" has put him on the defensive. In any case, the factors in the projection formulas are longer-term trends, while the financial crisis has been a day-to-day frenzy.
I highly recommend the estimable ByronYork on an Army of Joes and Tito the Construction Worker. Joe the Plumber seems to have legs.
By Michael Barone