Social Mood, Stock Market Performance and U.S. Presidential Elections: A Socionomic Perspective on Voting Results
SAGE Open, 2012
42 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2012 Last revised: 6 Nov 2012
Date Written: September 27, 2012
We analyze all U.S. presidential election bids. We find a positive, significant relationship between the incumbent’s vote margin and the prior net percentage change in the stock market. This relationship does not extend to the incumbent’s party when the incumbent does not run for re-election. We find no significant relationships between the incumbent’s vote margin and inflation or unemployment. GDP is a significant predictor of the incumbent’s popular vote margin in simple regression but is rendered insignificant when combined with the stock market in multiple regression. Hypotheses of economic voting fail to account for the findings. The results are consistent with socionomic voting theory, which includes the hypotheses that (1) social mood as reflected by the stock market is a more powerful regulator of re-election outcomes than economic variables such as GDP, inflation and unemployment and (2) voters unconsciously credit or blame the leader for their mood.
Keywords: economic voting, presidential elections, incumbent, social mood, socionomics
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