View Poll Results: The economy's effect on your vote for president
The state of the economy does affect my vote for president 17 22.08%
The state of the economy does not affect my vote for president 60 77.92%
Voters: 77. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 12-15-2019, 10:16 PM
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Does the state of the economy influence your vote for president?


It's an oft-quoted claim that every modern incumbent U.S. president has been reelected except when the economy was bad. (The two examples being Carter and Bush Sr.)

Maybe I skew too much towards social issues, but the state of the economy has never made the slightest difference whatsoever in who I plan to vote for for president.

Would you vote for Trump next November, if the economy were absolutely scorching hot? (Or, if you support Trump, would you vote for a Democrat if the economy were in a shambles by then?)

Ditto for all previous elections - would you have considered switching your vote in the Obama v. Romney election, or Obama v. McCain, or Bush v. Kerry (whatever your vote was) had economic circumstances been different?
  #2  
Old 12-15-2019, 10:26 PM
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Normally the economy would have a moderate effect on my vote. Not one of the poll's choices. If the incumbent had an outsize influence on a good or bad economy, that would affect my choice. This election is not about the economy. If you think it is, you are part of the problem. Not you Velocity.

Last edited by steatopygia; 12-15-2019 at 10:29 PM.
  #3  
Old 12-16-2019, 12:04 AM
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It might have a small effect in a normal election, but this one is far from normal. So even if the economy booms between now and November, I'm still voting for whoever runs against Trump
  #4  
Old 12-16-2019, 01:27 AM
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Maybe I skew too much towards social issues, but the state of the economy has never made the slightest difference whatsoever in who I plan to vote for for president.
Same, but I clicked the wrong button. So subtract one from the "does effect" column.
  #5  
Old 12-16-2019, 01:37 AM
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My vote is based partly on the candidate's economic priorities (e.g., overall taxation and spending goals), but not so much on short-term economic ups and downs, which I'm not sure the President can do much about. So I voted "no".
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Old 12-16-2019, 09:20 AM
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I think it used to make more of a difference back in a time when the the political spectrum was a bit less polarized.

We all know that if the US economy looked like the brightness of a quasar, the vast majority of Democrats would not vote for Trump, and correspondingly, if the economy looked apocalyptic, most republicans wouldn't vote against him.
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Old 12-16-2019, 10:09 AM
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Yes, it influences my vote, but it's one of several factors. I'd say it's less of an influence now than it used to be. An economy can be bad for different reasons. If an economy is just going through a downturn that's one thing. But if you were a Kansan and understood that you were one of the very few states going through an economic decline while the rest of the country was prospering, then you'd be right to wonder just what the fuck Sam Brownback was doing about it.
  #8  
Old 12-16-2019, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
I think it used to make more of a difference back in a time when the the political spectrum was a bit less polarized.

We all know that if the US economy looked like the brightness of a quasar, the vast majority of Democrats would not vote for Trump, and correspondingly, if the economy looked apocalyptic, most republicans wouldn't vote against him.
If the economy was in shambles, the Republicans would have primaried Trump, but vote against the Republican nominee? No way

Conservatives on the other hand, (and this is what I've been preaching for years) have a great chance of voting the other way IF the Democrats could run a moderate centrist. They could attract that middle 20% that sways votes. At this point it wouldn't take much. But they keep swinging the other way, playing home run ball instead of just taking the singles
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Old 12-16-2019, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Hermitian View Post
I think it used to make more of a difference back in a time when the the political spectrum was a bit less polarized.

We all know that if the US economy looked like the brightness of a quasar, the vast majority of Democrats would not vote for Trump, and correspondingly, if the economy looked apocalyptic, most republicans wouldn't vote against him.
And that's because the economy was already doing well before Trump took office. That being said, I actually don't deny the fact that some of Trump's policies have actually probably favored economic growth. I don't care because I don't think GDP growth by itself is representative of prosperity. Had Trump been the blue collar president he purported to be, I might be exactly the kind of "hold-my-nose while I vote for the SOB" kind of voter he'd be looking for -- except that i know he's not looking for that kind of voter now. FFS, it's as clear as day he's trying to muscle the Fed into giving him money for borrowing with negative interest rates.

Self-interest much?
  #10  
Old 12-16-2019, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Kearsen1 View Post
If the economy was in shambles, the Republicans would have primaried Trump, but vote against the Republican nominee? No way

Conservatives on the other hand, (and this is what I've been preaching for years) have a great chance of voting the other way IF the Democrats could run a moderate centrist. They could attract that middle 20% that sways votes. At this point it wouldn't take much. But they keep swinging the other way, playing home run ball instead of just taking the singles
Bill Clinton won because he had amazing political skills. Same with Barack Obama. I think they both are pretty close to "moderate centrist", but so were Gore, Kerry, and Hillary Clinton. The last time the Democrats didn't nominate someone in the ballpark of a "moderate centrist" was probably 1972.

Meanwhile, the Republicans nominated someone who had spent years pushing an evidence-free racist conspiracy theory, bragged about sexual assault and violating the consent of women and girls, and regularly spouted hateful nonsense about immigrants, Muslims, and more. And they beat the moderate-ish, centrist-ish, Hillary Clinton (by a nose, but they still won). Because he excited voters.

The common thread of winning candidates is exciting voters, not being a "moderate centrist".
  #11  
Old 12-16-2019, 10:17 AM
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I doubt many people think, "how is the economy? Good? Okay, I'll vote to keep the current guy." But I think that people who are out of work, or otherwise have some hardship related to how the country is doing are more likely to be seeking a change, and vote against incumbents. And when the economy is bad, there are a lot more of those people.
  #12  
Old 12-16-2019, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by steatopygia View Post
Normally the economy would have a moderate effect on my vote. Not one of the poll's choices. If the incumbent had an outsize influence on a good or bad economy, that would affect my choice. This election is not about the economy. If you think it is, you are part of the problem. Not you Velocity.
This, word for word. Thus, I did not vote in this poll.
  #13  
Old 12-16-2019, 10:55 AM
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I think it used to make more of a difference back in a time when the the political spectrum was a bit less polarized.
That could be true, assuming that it really is more polarized than before. It's always been that most Americans don't know shit about how a president may or may not affect the economy. Most Americans don't know why the economy is "bad" or "good." Most Americans don't understand that the repercussions of economic policy changes usually take more than four years to have a real effect and may have little to do with the current president.

Trump's sole approach to anything is to make a show and put on an act and pretend to be doing something, (when he doesn't actually have a clue), taking advantage of ignorance, so he's going to be especially able to exploit ignorance with this topic. Most of the new jobs now are shitty jobs, but Trump will tell his base that he has created the best economy in history, and they'll make believe it's true, because for them ethno-nationalism is more important than reality.
  #14  
Old 12-16-2019, 11:36 AM
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The state of the economy does not influence MY vote for president.

However, I believe that it is an accurate statement to say that the state of the economy does influence the outcome of the presidential election.

It has always seemed that the vast majority of voters are party loyal. It's that thin layer of undecided, unenthusiastic, or uninformed, voters who actually decide the outcome. They can be moved by economic factors (among other factors). I believe that they give inaccurate outsized importance to the notion that the president makes a difference on economic factors.
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  #15  
Old 12-16-2019, 01:44 PM
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It never has influenced my vote. It used to be a significant factor, but not any more. Everything comes down to whether the blue tribe comes out or not. We know the red tribe always does, so the only thing that determines election is blue tribe turnout.
  #16  
Old 12-16-2019, 02:03 PM
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One of my political science professors had a formula based on incumbent party presidential approval rating plus a couple of economic factors, I think unemployment rate and GDP growth, but I can’t remember it exactly.

The problem is that the sample size is so small and the worst of an economic downturn doesn’t often coincide with Presidential elections. In 2008, yes the financial crisis was news and the wild swings in the stock market, but the massive shedding of jobs and pain of the Great Recession didn’t happen until 2009-2010.

For me, personally, I don’t take the state of the economy into consideration and I doubt it really enters into the minds of most voters. There really are very few truly independent voters out there, regardless of the Hamlets we see on CNN.
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  #17  
Old 12-16-2019, 03:00 PM
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I primarily vote on the economy or rather how I think the president will effect it. Trump has gotten incredibly lucky to have not cratered the economy with his trade war on China but he's been doing it by using social pressure to force the fed into cutting interest rates and his tax cut leaving us for few bullets in the chamber when when something falters. The economy is why I didn't vote for trump last time and I won't vote for him next time.

That said most of his challengers scare me economically too. I don't really care about the social issues. I mean I recognize some as better that others but none of them actually effect me or my family so they don't matter. If we hit another 2008 my whole family could be out on the street and that bothers me a lot. Stupid thing is it's coming and we're not doing anything to mitigate it.
  #18  
Old 12-16-2019, 03:30 PM
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It depends on whether I think the presidents policies have anything to do with the economy.
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  #19  
Old 12-16-2019, 03:42 PM
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Don't forget, people aren't just changing their minds on whom they'll vote for. They're also changing their minds on whether to vote at all. There are an awful lot of people in this country who ordinarily don't turn out, but losing their job might be just what it takes to get them to the polls.
  #20  
Old 12-16-2019, 03:55 PM
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It depends on whether I think the presidents policies have anything to do with the economy.
Same here. I don't recall thinking a president did anything good for the economy, but it's been a good reason not to vote for some.
  #21  
Old 12-18-2019, 03:14 AM
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Single issue voter here. The issue is not the economy; it’s NO REPUBLICAN SHOULD EVER WIN ELECTIVE OFFICE. When the Republican Party ceases to exist, I’ll start considering other issues.
  #22  
Old 12-18-2019, 05:26 AM
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It would depend on which aspect of the economy.

If median wages are improving due to policies the current government have applied, that'd be a big factor.

If the stock market is booming for the same reason, I don't care that much.
  #23  
Old 12-18-2019, 05:53 AM
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I don't think this is a particularly valid poll because the economy is one of those things that can influence people without them even realizing it, and people who are politically engaged enough to be arguing about politics on the internet are more likely to have already made up their minds to the point where a boom/recession wouldn't flip them.
  #24  
Old 12-18-2019, 07:42 AM
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It's possible that the economy had a knock on effect on my choice in the first Presidential election I voted in - Bill Clinton over Bush the Greater. Bush made such a big deal over not raising taxes that when he did I considered that a deal breaker, even though I agreed with the decision, and it's possible that he thought it was necessary due to the economy (which wouldn't fly these days with the party of voodoo economics.)

In succeeding elections, I've voted for the Democratic Party except in 1996 when I voted third party because Clinton was a sleazebag.

The economy won't influence my decision in this upcoming election. I'd even take an economic hit to avoid the risk of sliding further from democracy.
  #25  
Old 12-18-2019, 10:20 AM
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The economy is indeed an important issue. And the fucking Republicans believe that low taxes, zero regulation and rapacious capitalism is best for the country in the long term. They're idiots and they're wrong.
  #26  
Old 12-18-2019, 03:34 PM
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The state of the economy at the time of the election has little or no influence on my vote for president, in part because I don't think presidents are in control of the economy. They can do some things which affect it, but in addition to the fact that I don't think anybody understands the economy well enough to control it, there are way too many other factors that aren't under their control. (If they could control it, every president would always have a roaring good economy, wouldn't they?)

If I think a president's policies will have a long term effect on the economy, that's a factor. But it's nowhere near the only factor, and it's unlikely to be the tipping factor; partly because other issues are more important to me, and partly because, hey, I don''t understand the economy well enough to be sure how to control it, either.

Voted no, as being closest to the above.
  #27  
Old 12-18-2019, 04:25 PM
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Yeah, it's not binary for me, so I can't answer the poll. But, on the whole, the economy is maybe a background, unconscious factor, but not really terribly important. Morons, like Trump, are idiots about everything, not just the economy. And some of those everythings could have more serious repercussions than simply "the economy."
  #28  
Old 12-18-2019, 04:52 PM
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Hypothesis: when individual voters don't have a lot of simmering anger you get a status quo election, with the result perhaps driven by lower turnout by low-information voters who shrug. Simmering anger = change. "The economy" is probably the largest single macro-index of simmering anger (e.g. lots of unemployed = lots of angry people). But these are individual decisions based on personal circumstances (for which "the economy" is an index), it's not so much (IMO) that people are each saying "in abstract, the economic indices are doing well, therefore I want to re-elect".

I'm not sure "the economy" is a good measure of dissatisfaction this time, because (1) there's a lot of that anger about non-economic stuff and (2) the current economic boom seems far less penetrating in terms of actual good results for people, at least from where I stand. For myself, my personal economy is $20K worse than 3-4 years ago, because of insane rises in health care costs, so I don't care about "the economy" but I damn well care about my personal economic circumstances, which maps to simmering anger about health care.
  #29  
Old 12-18-2019, 04:53 PM
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I don't credit a president for a good economy if they're making decisions that are likely to be harmful; I don't fault a president for a bad economy if they're making decisions that I expect to be helpful.
  #30  
Old 12-18-2019, 05:10 PM
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I voted No. The only thing that affects my vote for President is whether a candidate is or is not a Republican. The candidate with the best chance to beat the Republican gets my vote, no matter what, every time, till the day I die.
  #31  
Old 12-18-2019, 05:16 PM
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The candidate with the best chance to beat the Republican gets my vote, no matter what, every time, till the day I die.
I wouldn't go that far. The parties have changed positions -- in fact entirely changed places -- before. It could happen again.
  #32  
Old 12-18-2019, 05:58 PM
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I wouldn't go that far. The parties have changed positions -- in fact entirely changed places -- before. It could happen again.
Not happening. If you want to know the future of the Republican party, look at the fate of the Whig party. Half of it tainted by supporting the sin of slavery, the other half moving on to become something else entirely.

Though to be honest, this situation is fairly unprecedented because the Republicans are way more strongly unified than the Whigs ever were. If there's going to be a split, someone's going to have to do a lot of unpalatable backtracking and gaslighting.
  #33  
Old 12-18-2019, 07:40 PM
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I don't think the president can do much in the short term to influence the economy. For all that Roosevelt did to ease the impact of the depression, he never ended it. The war did that. And it is certainly arguable that Clinton's repeal of Glass-Steagall led to the great recession. That and the fact that the regulators, especially Greenspan, failed to regulate. But the bust took 10 years to arrive. And we see that Trump has not yet succeeded in causing a recession, despite trying mightily.
  #34  
Old 12-18-2019, 11:14 PM
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I would normally have voted the state of the economy does NOT affect my vote. I have a degree in economics and understand generally how little a President actually controls the economy.

However, in the current case, things like unilateral trade wars and creating major uncertainty in the global economy is the direct outcome of trump, I had to change my canned response to it DOES affect my vote in 2020.
  #35  
Old 12-19-2019, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
I doubt many people think, "how is the economy? Good? Okay, I'll vote to keep the current guy." But I think that people who are out of work, or otherwise have some hardship related to how the country is doing are more likely to be seeking a change, and vote against incumbents. And when the economy is bad, there are a lot more of those people.
This sounds true. The better daily life is, the less one tends to think about politics. And the worse daily life is, the more tempting it is to look anyplace but in the mirror for someone to blame. Personally I consider the economy a little bit, but place more weight on other issues like how do we seem to be faring with foreign policy--are we making lots of corpses for no good reason; does the country seem to have a direction domestically; how does it feel to be an American; that sort of fluff. But if you focus primarily on the economy, then you're willing to allow all sorts of shenanigans as long as you're getting money. That's not who I want to be.
  #36  
Old 12-29-2019, 01:38 PM
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I've been voting since 1968, with very few ballots cast for GOPs at any level. (I've mostly been P&F and Green). A few Bay Area GOP pols had *some* sense of reality, so there. But I look back at my presidential support over the decades. My most mainstream trend was working for Jerry Brown in 1992 (and voting for him in every his election except Oakland because I was elsewhere).

Elsewhen, I was moved by social policy, not economics. My union-member father voted for California's disastrous Prop.13 because he feared losing his house otherwise. I look at GOPs trying to dismantle all social programs. Losing Social Security won't kill me; losing Medicare will. Fuck those who try to take away what I've paid premiums for, all my life.

GOPs hate the idea of a healthy, prosperous America. They are traitors who work to support a foreign enemy waging war on the US. Fuck them all. Vote them out. Get the tar and feathers.

GOP are now the American Nazi Party. Never forget.
  #37  
Old 12-30-2019, 11:02 AM
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I can't see absolutely anything besides the letter next to their name affecting my vote for president in my lifetime. Republicans needing to be stopped is the only reason I even vote.
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