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March 24, 2010


Looking at the graph "Bread and Peace Voting in US Presidential Elections 1952-2008 Bill Clintons's 1996 dot lies about four percentage points above the linear model. Wouldn't this imply that Bill Clinton did better in 1996 than the bread and peace model would otherwise have predicted?

He did overperform relative to the model's prediction -- see my previous post on how his move to the center may have increased his margin. The point, however, is that Bread and Peace and other models predicted a Clinton victory based on the fundamentals. While there are some errors in these forecasts, the economy is clearly the driving force in presidential elections, not divided government or ideological positioning.

So which is it Brendan? Is it "nonsense" or did it "increase his margin"?

You sometimes really take a black and white approach to some questions in your original posts that you admit later are really more nebulous....

I stand by what I wrote. Suggesting that "[t]he result" of the triangulation strategy was Clinton's victory in 1996 without discussing the economy is indeed nonsense. Credible estimates of the benefits of moving toward the center in presidential elections are substantially smaller than Clinton's final margin.

OK, I get your emphasis Brendan - fair enough.

Clinton over-performed relative to the model, but I don't see any evidence to suggest that his move to the center was the cause. I can just as reasonably argue that his excellent saxophone abilities brought out the musician vote.

Until someone has evidence to suggest otherwise all I feel safe saying is Clinton over-performed. My original comment should have ended as a comment not a question.

It would be funny if the Republicans took control of both houses and then Obama vetoed everything to put forth. He would be the "Just Say No" President.

Let's hope for 67 in the Senate ;)

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