More on Elections and Fundamentals

Vote choice in presidential elections is strongly influenced by voters’ perceptions of their financial situation, according to exit poll data available since 1992. More than 65% of those who feel their situation has gotten better typically vote for the incumbent party’s candidate, versus fewer than 35% of those who say their finances are worse.

A key factor in election outcomes, then, is how many voters feel their financial situation has gotten worse. As the following chart suggests, when that share reaches about a third of voters, as it did in 1992 and 2008, it spells trouble for the incumbent-party candidate.

One thought on “More on Elections and Fundamentals

  1. On the other hand, the incumbent-party candidate lost in 2000, at the trough of that graph. I’d say the graph itself illustrates the effect Larry Bartels published this summer, and I’ll buy that when the graph is high, the incumbent is in trouble, but when the graph is low, the electorate is fat, dumb and happy so you don’t know what fool thing they might do.

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