Quick, how many recessions has the United States had in the past half century? The answer is eight. Since 1960, the country has gone through one or two recessions per decade, on average. Yet both voters and politicians seem to think economic slumps are far rarer than they actually are—with odd effects on election and policy.
More on what political science has to say about natural disasters and elections. A tornado or flood or drought can cost incumbents votes. Savvy disaster responses can help. Voters never reward politicians for preparing for natural disasters. And none of this matters anyway, because sports events are what really sway voters.