Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Looking for a Bellwether? Wall Street Rings True.

You know, the oft repeated Reaganism, the one that won him the 1980 election, “are you better off now than you were four years ago,” has not really served the Romneyites very well. They have tried it out, but the only thing the question has done this year is to remind people of how they are indeed much better off than they were in the depths of the Great Recession of 2008-09.
Think about it. People were losing their jobs by the hundreds of thousands per month. The stock market halved its value. Home sales plummeted along with home prices. Bank loans were rare as hen’s teeth.
Yes, we are all better off than we were 4 years ago, even if Republicans are unable or unwilling to admit it.
And this is another piece of good news for the Obama campaign, that and this new study by Robert Prechter and Deepak Goel of the Socionomics Institute, a research think tank, Wayne Parker of Emory University and Matthew Lampert of the University of Cambridge. Their study, entitled “Social Mood, Stock Market Performance and U.S. Presidential Elections” states the obvious, that those who preside over Wall Street booms, like the present one that has the Dow Jones average pushing the envelope ever outward these days, get re-elected. The converse is also true: those in office during downturns in the stock market get sent home.
Ask Bill Clinton.
Ask Calvin Coolidge.
In truth, the study covers every presidential contest since 1792 and the results are consistent. I really like this quote:

"'The best single predictor of presidential re-election results that we found was the percentage change in the stock market during the three years that preceded Election Day,' said Emory University’s Goel, adding that the jobless rate 'had no predictive value in any of our tests.'"
But really this study is such old news. Everyone knows that you don’t question a winning streak, and you don’t bet against a good thing, because nothing succeeds but success.

And yes, the champagne is on ice. Barack Obama is going to rock the town hall tonight.

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