John on February 21, 2012 at 9:38 am
Over at Barron’s, Gene Epstein puts together a list of Presidential contenders and assigned them a rating as follows:
For my first variable, I took the percentage increase in real consumer spending in the last six months of the year in which the election was held, compared with the previous year’s last six months. That’s a more tangible sign of confidence, in my view, than surveys of confidence.
For my second variable, I examined the rate of unemployment for married males over the last six months of each election year. This provides a more continuous measure of labor’s pain over the past half-century than the overall rate of unemployment, whose demographic mix has changed over time.
To compute my measure of voters’ economic well-being, or VEWB, I subtracted that bad thing, the married-male unemployment rate, from the good thing, the rate of increase in real consumer spending, and got a single number.
The result is that having a negative integer for a VEWB seems to correlate pretty well with a loss in the presidential elections since 1956 (the exception being Eisenhower who was only slightly negative at -0.6). As for Obama, he currently comes in just behind Jimmy Carter with a -3.9 (Carter is -4). The bottom line is that Obama should lose unless things improve dramatically.
Category: Politics |