Will the Economy Pick the Next President?
Social Education, Vol. 80, Vol 2, March/April 2016
Posted: 16 Apr 2016 Last revised: 28 May 2016
Date Written: April 1, 2016
During President Bill Clinton’s successful run for the White House in 1992, his campaign strategist James Carville famously told a group of campaign staffers, “The economy, stupid” — his point being that to beat then incumbent President George H.W. Bush, they would need to focus on the problems with the economy at that time. Now, after 24 years have gone by and Carville’s quote has morphed into “It’s the economy, stupid,” the economy remains at the front of voters’ minds. Many issues will influence voters, including national security and terrorism, climate change and the environment, and a number of social issues. Nonetheless, the economic policies advocated by the candidates and political parties remain important, even dominant, in voters’ final decisions.
No matter what policies a candidate proposes, the incumbent party is likely to be credited or blamed with the current state of the economy. And many voters base their decision on how the country’s economy is directly affecting them. It stands to reason that in a presidential campaign the current state of the economy might provide an interesting prediction of election results.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation