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

Author

Listed:
  • Stephen E. Haynes

    () (Department of Economics, University of Oregon)

  • Joe A. 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 an apparent statistical dead heat in 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 attempt to resolve 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) may be 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 E. Haynes & Joe A. Stone, 2004. "‘Guns and ButterÂ’ in U.S. Presidential Elections," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2004-12, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 20 Sep 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2004-12
    as

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    File URL: http://economics.uoregon.edu/papers/UO-2004-12_Haynes_Stone_Guns_Butter.pdf
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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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    presidential; elections; security; war; voting;

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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