Here We Go Again…

by Joshua Tucker on September 11, 2012 · 2 comments

in Campaigns and elections,Me The People

Niall Ferguson at The Daily Beast yesterday:

It’s a paradox. The economy is in the doldrums. Yet the incumbent is ahead in the polls. According to a huge body of research by political scientists, this is not supposed to happen. On the other side of the Atlantic, it hardly ever does. But in America today, the law of political gravity has been suspended…One thing’s for sure. Though Bill Clinton waxed lyrical last week about his party’s job-creation record, this time it really isn’t the economy, stupid.

John Sides here at The Monkey Cage three weeks ago:

[W]ithout any dramatic trend the resulting balance of economic indicators is favorable for Obama, though not strongly so.  This is, in part, why the forecasting model that Lynn Vavreck, Seth Hill, and I helped develop for Wonkblog, suggested Obama would win.  Lynn and I reach the same conclusion with a elaborated forecasting exercise in “The Hand You’re Dealt.”  This is, in part, why forecasts that build in economic indicators—as at 538 and Votamatic—suggest the same.  And yet people still think Obama should be losing because of the economy.  That is simply not the case.  The state of the economy does not guarantee him victory but neither does it presage defeat.

More of John’s data analysis can be found here. More of Ferguson’s thoughts about whether voters tell the truth to pollsters, vote prospectively in US elections, or care about issues other than the economy can be found here. Now if only we had some actual research on any of those other topics that he could reference….

{ 2 comments }

ylelkes September 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm

it’s not really the state of the economy that matters, but changes in the state of the economy. furthermore, actual change may not matter as much as perceived change.

Peter Hovde September 11, 2012 at 3:16 pm

Why should Ferguson dirty his hands grubbing for evidence? Henry Farrell did a related post at CT recently.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: