Unemployment is not as important as we think, when it comes to predicting the next President

Make no mistake: the higher the unemployment rate in November 2012, the less likely President Obama is to win a second term.

But we should be careful about asserting that there is any particular threshold at which Mr. Obama would go from favorite to underdog, or any magic number at which his re-election would either become impossible or a fait accompli. Historically, the relationship between the unemployment rate and a president’s performance on Election Day is complicated and tenuous.

…historically, the correlation between the unemployment rate and a president’s electoral performance has been essentially zero.

Unemployment increased by 1.9 percentage points over the course of Richard M. Nixon’s first term, but he won re-election easily. It also increased in George W. Bush’s and Dwight D. Eisenhower’s first terms, and their re-election bids were also successful. The unemployment rate fell to 3.9 percent from 5.3 percent, meanwhile, in Bill Clinton’s second term — but his vice president, Al Gore, could not beat Mr. Bush in the Electoral College.

There are also cases in which the data behaved more intuitively: Jimmy Carter and the elder George Bush all faced high unemployment rates when they lost their re-election bids, as did Gerald R. Ford in 1976, and that was surely a factor in their defeats.

 

Keep reading: On the Maddeningly Inexact Relationship Between Unemployment and Re-Election

 

Continue reading Unemployment is not as important as we think, when it comes to predicting the next President

U.S. imported less than 50% of the oil consumed in 2010 – first time in 13 years

In 2010, we imported less than 50 percent of the oil our nation consumed—the first time that’s happened in 13 years—and the trend continued in 2011.

via WhiteHouse.gov

Bush's deficit spending 5 trillion, Obama's deficit spending 1.4 trillion…so far

Found this piece on Facebook’s Top Political Articles of 2011.

It’s from Ezra Klein in July, 2011, but still timely. Both President Obama and President Bush have added to the deficit, but Bush is still the clear big spender.

 

 

Maybe we should give Obama some more time. You know politicians do like to spend money!

Bush’s deficit spending 5 trillion, Obama’s deficit spending 1.4 trillion…so far

Found this piece on Facebook’s Top Political Articles of 2011.

It’s from Ezra Klein in July, 2011, but still timely. Both President Obama and President Bush have added to the deficit, but Bush is still the clear big spender.

 

 

Maybe we should give Obama some more time. You know politicians do like to spend money!