Monday, September 5, 2011

Since FDR only 3 elected presidents have been up for reelection when the unemployment rates were as high as 7.2%. Although Carter and Bush lost, Reagan won. It is hard to tell from a sample group of three. Ford is a different case entirely as he was never elected to either the vice presidency or the presidency in the first place. Furthermore, Reagan won with 525 Electoral College votes. Only Washington, Monroe, and FDR had a higher electoral vote margin of victory. There is no doubt that the current economy and high unemployment rate greatly harms Obama's chances of reelection. However, there is simply not enough data to make conclusive judgments about the upcoming elections based on incumbent unemployment statistics rates. This election has unique historical factors, and as such the idea of Obama as a second term president should not be discounted.

1 comment:

Lachlan said...

Since I presume this was a reply to my comment yesterday, I feel obliged to respond.

No, 8% employment will not guarantee a GOP victory next year. My point was simply that incumbency is not always an advantage, and history suggests that voters are likely to blame the incumbent president for the state of the economy - a perfectly reasonable and rational position, I might add.

It should also be noted that Reagan won reelection after the economy had rebounded from recession into two years of astronomical growth, with GDP increasing at a rate as high as 9.3%. Contrast that recovery with our current one, and one can't help but conclude that Obama's experience will likely be closer to Carter's than Reagan's.

Of course "the idea of Obama as a second term president should not be discounted." But all forces, it seems - including his own incumbency - are working against him.