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'Guns and butter'' in U.S. presidential elections

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen Haynes

    () (Department of Economics, University of Oregon)

  • Joe Stone

    () (Department of Economics, University of Oregon)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Haynes & Joe Stone, 2004. "'Guns and butter'' in U.S. presidential elections," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 1(5), pages 1-8.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-04a10004
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fair, Ray C, 1978. "The Effect of Economic Events on Votes for President," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(2), pages 159-173, May.
    2. Swank, O H, 1993. "Popularity Functions Based on the Partisan Theory," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 75(4), pages 339-356, April.
    3. Stephen E. Haynes & Joe A. Stone, 1994. "Why Did Economic Models Falsely Predict A Bush Landslide In 1992?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 12(2), pages 123-130, April.
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    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics

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