‘Guns and Butter’ in U.S. Presidential Elections

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Title: ‘Guns and Butter’ in U.S. Presidential Elections
Author: Haynes, Stephen E., 1945-; Stone, Joe A. (Joe Allan), 1948-
Abstract: Previous models of the popular vote in U.S. Presidential elections emphasize economic growth and price stability, the role of parties and incumbency, and pre-election expectations for the future. Despite the closeness of the pre-election polls in 2004, formal models instead predict a landslide victory for President Bush. An obvious question is whether this anomaly arises, at least in part, from national security concerns – in particular, the conflict in Iraq. We explore this pre-election anomaly by introducing two opposing electoral forces capturing national security concerns, which for the 2004 election reduces President Bush's predicted vote share. In general, the impact of national security concerns on the vote share of the incumbent (or the incumbent's party) can be substantial, whether positive, as in the 1944 election during World War II, or negative, as in the 1952 election during the Korean war and the 1968 election during the Vietnam war.
Description: 12 p.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/240
Date: 2004-09-20


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