Obama Reelection and Unemployment
As published in The New York Times, July 1, 2012
To the Editor:
Matthew Bishop asks “whether Barack Obama will enter the polls with unemployment above or below the 8 percent rate that usually means defeat for an incumbent president.” Yet Franklin Delano Roosevelt, for one, was re-elected with much higher rates of unemployment.
The right question is how many incumbent presidents have actually run for re-election with 8 percent unemployment: since 1942 there have been none. The closest case was Gerald Ford in 1976; he lost, but he had not been elected. Therefore, we don’t know what happens when there is more than 8 percent unemployment, whether or not this has any significant (or decisive) influence on the election. For this year’s election, Roosevelt’s case is indeed pertinent.
The writer is a professor of political science at Georgetown University.
COMMENTSProfessor Thomas M. Holbrook said...
In my last post I focused on how ill-advised it is to make any predictions for 2012 based on unemployment rates in the summer of 2011. As it turns out, even when measured closer in time to the election, the unemployment rate still is not a good predictor of election outcomes. There is no relationship between the unemployment rate in July of election years and the performance of the president's party in the November election. It is just not a good predictor.
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Thomas M. Holbrook
Department Chair and Wilder Crane Professor of Political Science
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Ambassador Jorge Dezcallar said...
Hay que luchar contra tanta frase hecha. Esta, concretamente, yo la había utilizado.
Gracias por evitarme hacer el ridículo
Ashley Beale said...
Wonderful! Logic, indeed, wins the day.
Ivan Bofarull said...
Gustau Alegret said...
Interessant i pertinent.
Joseph A.Ferry said...
Obama will be defeated regardless of the unemployment and, if he isn't, this nation is doomed.