Study: People think recessions are much rarer than they actually are

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.

Do voters punish politicians for natural disasters? (cont’d)

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.

Could the drought cost Obama votes this fall?

It seems utterly bizarre to think that voters would punish Obama for a severe drought across the United States. Yet some political science research suggests that natural disasters like droughts and floods really can hurt an incumbent president.

How’s our model doing?

According to Wonkblog's model and current data, Obama wins 82.5 percent of the time.

By Dylan Matthews July 3, 2012