Presidential Job Worries (historical)

employment_index_term_beginning.bmp
Source: The Dismal Scientist

The intersection between economics and politics continues, with this rather fascinating chart via The Dismal Scientist. They note:

“The jobs situation under the current President Bush is looking more like it did under his father, who failed in his reelection bid in 1992, than in the successful reelection campaigns of Presidents Clinton (1996) and Reagan (1984).”

Other data should also be concerning the White House. Polls continue to show the President lagging Kerry by 1 to 6 points. Some GOP strategists have been dismissive of this early polling data, suggesting that incumbents often lag behind their challengers for extended periods of time. And that argument is somewhat appealing right about now — after an opponents’ primary campaign has run, but before the incumbent’s reelection campaign has started up.

The problem is, its not true. The Economist magazine cites the pollster Gallup, which reviewed the historical correlation between polling data and Presidential electoral success:

“According to Gallup, every incumbent since Truman has been ahead of his eventual challenger at this point in the cycle — all except Gerald Ford, who lost.”

Combine that little polling factoid with the graphic above, and its not too hard to understand why the White House strategists are starting to get a little concerned.

Sources:
John Kerry Grabs the Prize
March 6 – 12th, 2004 (p 25)
http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=S%27%298%3C%2BRA%27%20%20%20%21D%0A

Bad News for Bush.
Augustine Faucher
The Dismal Scientist, May 5, 2004
http://www.economy.com/dismal/pro/blog.asp?e=C06B7141-4E29-44DD-9C3F-C48D19F9AABA

By the way, at $30 per month, Dismal is a pretty worthwhile service if you need access to any of their data sets or commentaries.

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  1. JunkieWire – The Joe Hill Dispatch journal of news for political junkies. commented on Mar 12

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    Barry Ritholtz at The Big Picture puts two and two together: The intersection between economics and politics continues, with this rather fascinating chart via The Dismal Scientist. They note: “The jobs situation under the current President Bush is look…

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