Presidential Election Rule

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  • Thread starter jduster
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

My rule for presidential elections is: If the economy is well, voters will support the empowered party. If the economy is not well, voters will support the opposing party.

Historical Context

1956
Economy: Well
Eisenhower is re-elected.

1960
Economy: Had a little downturn near end of decade.
Kennedy is elected over Nixon.

1964
Economy: Well
Johnson is re-elected

1968 - Okay, Vietnam was a huge exception

1972
Economy: Well
Nixon re-elected

1976
Economy: Concerns of inflation
Ford loses to Carter.

1980
Economy: Stagflation
Reagan defeats Carter

1984
Economy: Recovery
Reagan re-elected by landslide

1988
Economy: Still well
Bush succeeds Reagan.

1992
Economy: Unemployment increases.
Bush, once considered unbeatable, loses to Clinton because of economic concerns.

1996
Economy: Well
Clinton is re-elected

2000
Economy: Well
Gore won the popular vote here.

2004
Economy: Recovered from post-9/11 recession
Bush gets re-elected

2008
Economy: Downturn
Obama defeats McCain. As the economy got worse, McCain's support fell.

2012
?

Essayist Paul Graham has a theory that charisma wins elections, but can any president in a bad economy be charismatic?

Obama's approval rating fell since he could not find an instant cure to the recession.
Reagan's approval dropped in 1983 when the economy went into a recession.

In 2012, the economy has gotten better, though only slightly, but has not recovered. Barack Obama has a huge warchest and a Republican Party which is extremely unpopular, so he could end up being an exception to my rule.
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,762
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Have you considered the great depression with Roosevelt being elected time after time?
 
  • #3
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Of course.

Coolidge and Hoover were elected over a booming economy.
Hoover lost to Roosevelt as the economy sank into the Great Depression.

1936
Yes, the country was in the midst of a Great Depression, but economic conditions improved and unemployment rate went down in those years, significantly, even if the nation was still in a depression.

In 1940, the economy wasn't as bad as it was in 1929. And during WW2, the economy was booming, resulting in a 4th term.
 
  • #4
CAC1001
Of course.

Coolidge and Hoover were elected over a booming economy.
Hoover lost to Roosevelt as the economy sank into the Great Depression.

1936
Yes, the country was in the midst of a Great Depression, but economic conditions improved and unemployment rate went down in those years, significantly, even if the nation was still in a depression.

In 1940, the economy wasn't as bad as it was in 1929. And during WW2, the economy was booming, resulting in a 4th term.
Also during World War II, people probably figured it best to leave the guy who was president in place, as opposed to bringing in someone totally new.
 

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