Still the Economy, Stupid: Economic Voting in the 2004 Presidential Election

32 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2007 Last revised: 11 Jul 2010

See all articles by Jeffrey S. DeSimone

Jeffrey S. DeSimone

University of Texas at Arlington - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Courtney LaFountain

Government Accountability Office (GAO)

Date Written: October 2007

Abstract

Given President Bush's popularity among relatively poor rural residents and lack thereof among wealthier urban dwellers in the 2004 presidential election, analysts have suggested that voters contradicted their economic self-interests. We investigate whether this conventional wisdom implied an absence of economic voting. Using exit poll data, we estimate whether a change in previous four-year financial status affected the propensity to vote for Bush. The main econometric concern is that underlying preferences for Bush might dictate financial status change responses. Beyond income and several other demographic variables, therefore, the regressions hold constant indicators for state and congressional district, religious affiliation, political philosophy and party, and Iraq war support. Even further controlling for approval of Bush's job performance, economic voting is statistically and quantitatively significant. Effects are asymmetric, with status worsening hurting Bush more than status improvement helped, and persist even among subgroups that provided particularly strong or weak support for Bush.

Suggested Citation

DeSimone, Jeffrey S. and LaFountain, Courtney, Still the Economy, Stupid: Economic Voting in the 2004 Presidential Election (October 2007). NBER Working Paper No. w13549. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1024966

Jeffrey S. DeSimone (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Arlington - College of Business Administration - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 19479 UTA
Arlington, TX 76019
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Courtney LaFountain

Government Accountability Office (GAO) ( email )

441 G St., NW
Washington, DC 20548
United States

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