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?
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.