Friday, October 7, 2011

It's the Incomes, Stupid

Here's a question I know you've asked yourself over and over:

What if the incumbent president’s fate hinges on one basic economic question in 2012: Are the incomes of voters growing in the six months before Election Day? 

According to this article from RealClearPolitics, Obama's Chances Could Turn on One Key Indicator,
here's the answer:

Barack Obama is likely to win a second term if real disposable incomes are stable or climbing in the two quarters leading into next year’s election, according to respected political science research.

The research, conducted by Vanderbilt University political scientist Larry Bartels, is in many ways counter-intuitive because it factors out most of the other predictors we associate with a successful presidential campaign. Moreover, the research says that we should be able to predict Obama's chances by late next spring, about 6 months prior to the election. From the article,

What is particularly intriguing about Bartels’ research is that Obama may be re-elected, based on the calculations, even if personal incomes are stagnant in 2012 -- as they have been in the last year. But a late-breaking surge in income growth in the summer and autumn next year would clinch the election for the president, the research suggests.

Dive into the article. It's not just food for thought, it's a whole meal.

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