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About the article
James E. Campbell
James E. Campbell is a UB Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University at Buffalo, SUNY and author of three books on American elections, including The American Campaign: U.S. Presidential Campaigns and the National Vote. He has also published more than 80 articles and book chapters on various aspects of American politics. Portions of this analysis also appear in “A First Party-Term Incumbent Survives: The Fundamentals in 2012,” in Larry J. Sabato, ed., Barack Obama and the New America: The 2012 Election and the Changing Face of Politics (Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2013).
Published Online: 2013-02-09
With apologies to Adrian Monk.
Real GDP growth data are from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (2012).
The regression used a counter variable for each quarter beginning in the first quarter of Obama’s second year. The dependent variable was the quarterly growth in real GDP. The counter was not close to being statistically significant (p<0.45) and the adjusted R2 was zero.
This is based on a regression of the two GDP growth rates in Tables 2 and 3 on the incumbent’s two-party presidential vote share. The regression results were as follows: a constant of 39.98, a term GDP coefficient of 3.80 (p<0.01), and a second-quarter reelection year GDP coefficient of 0.57 (p<0.02). The adjusted R2 was 0.87 and the standard error was 2.32.
This is based on a regression of first party-term variable (1 for a Democrat, -1 for a Republican, and 0 if there were no first party-term incumbent) on the Democratic candidate’s share of the two-party popular vote. A control for partisan era was also included (-1 for the Republican era from 1900 to 1928, 1 for the Democratic era from 1932 to 1964, and 0 for the era of partisan parity from 1968 to the present). The regression results were as follows: a constant of 49.00, party era coefficient of 3.54 (p<0.02), and a first party-term coefficient of 5.67 (p<0.01). The adjusted R2 was 0.37 and the standard error was 6.08.