Monday, July 25, 2011

2010 House Vote Portends an Obama Loss in 2012

AEI Fellow Michael Barone presents some really interesting political analysis in his article "How to Understand Obama’s Chances in 2012":

House VotePresidential Vote
YearRep% Dem%      Rep%Dem%
20105245
200843544653
20064553
200450475148
20025146
200048484848
19984948
199649494149
19945244

"To what extent can we consider the popular vote for the House in off-year elections as a prediction of the presidential vote in the next election? The answer appears to be: pretty good. The chart above shows the Republican and Democratic percentages for the House popular vote and for the presidential popular vote, starting with 1994.

In the three most recent cases, the off-year percentages for the House are almost exactly the same as the presidential year percentages for president. However, Republicans signally failed to replicate their 1994 House percentage in the 1996 presidential contest. They would have been closer if 6% of the 8% cast for independent candidate Ross Perot is counted for Republican nominee Bob Dole—who polls suggested was the second choice of the overwhelming percentage of Perot voters—but that would still have left Clinton ahead 51%-47%.

Absent a considerable redefinition by the incumbent president, he or his party’s nominee is likely to run just about as well (or poorly) in the next presidential election as his party’s House candidates did in the most recent off-year elections.

Obviously, the three most recent examples portend an unhappy 2012 for President Obama and the Democrats, while the 1994-1996 example is a precedent for an incumbent Democratic president overcoming a “thumping” (George W. Bush’s term) in the off-year and winning reelection by a nontrivial margin. 

What I think these numbers suggest is that, absent a considerable redefinition by the incumbent president, he or his party’s nominee is likely to run just about as well (or poorly) in the next presidential election as his party’s House candidates did in the most recent off-year elections. The off-year vote represents a settled opinion on how the president and his party have performed in nearly two years in office, and unless the president takes a significantly different course toward governing, as Bill Clinton arguably did in 1995-1996, then that settled verdict remains more or less in place. Or so the numbers suggest."

16 Comments:

At 7/25/2011 5:54 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

I heard, Obama will win, because he'll convinced the American people the alternative is even worse, i.e. back to the Bush years.

The Republicans didn't defend the Bush economic record and didn't explain who and what really caused the financial crisis.

 
At 7/25/2011 7:24 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

The past is prologue, except when it is not.

The GOP is leaderless right now, under the command of a collection of braying talk-show hosts, and GOP nihilists.

The RNC is manned by feeble weaklings. Call it the Sarah Palinification of the GOP.

I expect the GOP to be routed in 2012.

 
At 7/25/2011 7:53 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"I expect the GOP to be routed in 2012." -- "Benji"

An even stronger indicator of Republican success.

 
At 7/25/2011 8:17 PM, OpenID American Delight said...

"the Sarah Palinification of the GOP"? I wish..

 
At 7/25/2011 9:21 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Bunny "I expect the GOP to be routed in 2012." -- "Benji"

"C.I.D.An even stronger indicator of Republican success.

Good point:

Bunny, can you give us any particulars on which individuals you expect will get routed?

 
At 7/25/2011 10:20 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

I don't know what's going to happen with Rick Perry.

But if the nominee is Romney or Bachmann, I'd still put my money on Obama winning.

For several months now, I've believed that Obama would win re-election, but the the R's would gain control of the Senate, and retain control of the House.

If that happens, there will be no new taxes. Quite possibly there could be nothing but stalemate for four years.

There are worse outcomes than political stalemate.

 
At 7/25/2011 10:36 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Arbitarge-

The 1990s, our best business decade since the 1960s (and mercifully sans any major wars) had a split Congress and White House.

Right now, however, I think more is riding on the Fed than on fiscal action.

Bernanke appears to be doing a Japan. It may be because he is an GOP appointee, and wants Obama out. If true, he will loosen up after GOP victory (so will GOP commentators, btw).

Or maybe Bernanke is just cowed by the inflationistas.

Either way, unless Bernanke gets aggressive, we sink into deeper debts and perma-gloom, ala Japan.

 
At 7/26/2011 6:41 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Geez! pseudo benny do you ever wish you knew what you were talking about?

"The 1990s, our best business decade since the 1960s (and mercifully sans any major wars) had a split Congress and White House"...

Did you sleep through all of the ninties?

What's a 'split' White House?

Monica Lewinsky on one side and Hillary on the other side?

 
At 7/26/2011 10:36 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"If true, he will loosen up after GOP victory (so will GOP commentators, btw)."

This reminds me of Benji's oft repeated prediction that a GOP victory in 2010 would mean nothing but even more debt as Republicans accelerated the lard fest. Instead, we have the right-wing fighting a rear-guard effort against his boyfriend's insane spend-a-palooza.

 
At 7/26/2011 11:08 AM, Blogger Bobby Caygeon said...

Seriously Benji, are you high? Nothing you say every makes any sense and is nothing more than partisan hack points from the DNC.

I love that people think Obama even has a chance. Remember when they thought that way about November too?

Here is Obama's platform for 2012:
- increasing unemployment, probably close to double digits (20%+ "real U-6).
- sub 2% GDP growth.
- no budget for over 3 years.
- the crowning achievement of Obamacare, which the majority of the electorate didn't want.
- petulance, divisiveness, race/gender/class warfare, and pure unadulterated laziness.
- fading support for public sector unions (his base).
- spending on high-speed rail and uneconomical "green" jobs.

sounds like a winner to me.

 
At 7/26/2011 12:04 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

Benjamin @ 10:36

Bernanke is Obama's boy.

(Regardless of who appointed him the first time).

 
At 7/26/2011 12:51 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos;

"Monica Lewinsky on one side and Hillary on the other side?"

That evokes some images I could have lived without for the rest of my life.

 
At 7/29/2011 5:27 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Who cares? The idiots in the GOP will probably nominate a fool who will only make the Democrats look better than they actually are.

 
At 8/01/2011 8:48 AM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Obama in the white house in 2013 is certainly not the worst possible outcome. Some of the best years this country has had have been when the legislative and executive have been controlled by different parties.

I think the worst thing that could happen is if Romney gets elected. As far as I can tell, he has all of the same priorities as Obama, and a Republican congress will let him get his way. It'll be like the fourth term of the Bush Jr. presidency.

Best case scenario is Ron Paul or Gary Johnson as prez, though I don't think either of them has a snowball's chance in hell.

 
At 8/02/2011 5:08 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

Obama in the white house in 2013 is certainly not the worst possible outcome. Some of the best years this country has had have been when the legislative and executive have been controlled by different parties.

Obama is among the worst of many bad presidents that the country has had. The big winners of an Obama victory would be the idiots in the Republican lradership.

 
At 8/02/2011 5:10 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I think the worst thing that could happen is if Romney gets elected. As far as I can tell, he has all of the same priorities as Obama, and a Republican congress will let him get his way. It'll be like the fourth term of the Bush Jr. presidency.

I agree that Romney would be a bit loser, just like Bush.

 

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