The most important 2012 US Presidential election issue
Imagine if you could turn off the election news for the next two years and be able to predict the election better than any poll or odds. You can. The economy is the key issue in every election.
What are the key issues in the 2012 US Presidential election? There are many but in the end the only there is really only one. There is one issue that determines the election. It is the economy. The purpose of this post is to explain the relationship between the economy and election results.
The thing that matters is the economy in a reelection of a potential second term president. It is very hard to dethrone a US President, even if not popular. Even if in the interim the people are unhappy they reelect their leader come November. People like what they know. This is especially true if there is money in their pockets. If you have a job and are making money why risk an unknown. If your job is in jeopardy, anything could happen.
Recent US election history:
- Ronald Reagan – got elected to fix the Carter economy. It was the Reagan revolution. Actually it was not Carter’s fault at all. But I remember unemployment, inflation and interest rates were double digit and people wanted and needed a cowboy to fix it, Reagan did. Despite revisionist history, Reagan did save the US.
- George Bush Sr. – The Reagan economy legacy left such good feelings George Bush Sr. got elected.
- Bill Clinton got elected under the message of change when the economy was faulting with a recession but really won the 1992 election because Bush went back on this promise of no new taxes (an economic promise). Do you remember ‘read my lips, no new taxes’?
- George Bush Jr. – After the Internet stock bubble of the 90s the Democrats did not stand a chance and George Bush Jr. was elected. Actually the election of 2000 was close, but it was still the economy that nudged it towards Bush. If people had a choice to vote on saving the trees (Gore) or saving their jobs (Bush) most would go with the latter. In 2004 he was reelected as the economy was still in reasonable shape on their surface thanks to Greenspan lowing interest rates to ridiculously low levels.
- President Barack Obama got elected when the economy in 2008 was discovered to have a major crack in it. There is no way the Republicans could win with that much finger pointing and blame going around.
- President Sarah Palin was elected in 2012 because the Obama New Deal II was a legacy of costly bailouts that did not lower unemployment, in fact it raised it. OK maybe this did not happen yet.
Each election is different. It is not just the absolute level of unemployment but the relative level. If it is +2 or -2% from the mid term point. That means for Obama, if unemployment is in the 7% range, he will get reelected. If it is not, there is a good chance we will be signing book deals.
Why I do not vote on Economic issues
As much of a Libertarian free market Adam Smith Republican, I am, I still am mostly a one issue voter, that is the life issue. I know it is not politically correct to talk about this, but it is important. I may be rich or I may be poor, but for me personally social issues like life and the environment and peace are more important than the amount of disposable income in my pocket.
I think for many people in 2012 the election issues will be divided along social lines like the life issue, for some the environment etc. But the issue is the swing votes are economic voters. These are the ones that will vote swing the election. Others like me already know what is important in the primaries and elections. Others are entrenched as liberals or conservatives along social lines so it is hard to change these guys.
I estimate that less than 30% are primarily economic voters, maybe much less. Maybe I am wrong so please take my poll.
Is there is another Presidential election issue that is important to you? Let me know. Leave a comment as to what is you think is the most important issue in the 2012 US Presidential election.