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« Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 492 - Labor Union Members Wanting Out. | WILLisms.com | The Next Right. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 493 - This Terrible, Terrible Political Climate.

Republicans Face Uphill Battle In 2008-

It's bad out there.

Audience: How bad is it?

It's so bad, that when Republican candidates yawn, their teeth duck.

Okay, that doesn't even make sense.

How about some numbers?

How about the Electoral Barometer:

The formula for computing this score is simply the president's net approval rating (approval minus disapproval) in the Gallup Poll plus five times the annual growth rate of real GDP minus 25 if the president's party has held the White House for two terms or longer. Mathematically, this formula can be written as:

EB = NAR + (5*GDP) - 25.

In theory, the Electoral Barometer can range from -100 or lower to +100 or higher with a reading of zero indicating a neutral political climate. In practice, Electoral Barometer readings for the fifteen presidential elections since the end of World War II have ranged from -66 in 1980 to +82 in 1964. A positive Electoral Barometer reading generally predicts victory for the incumbent party while a negative reading generally predicts defeat.

So, the worst score ushered out Jimmy Carter in favor of Ronald Reagan in 1980, while the best score helped LBJ simply crush Barry Goldwater.

Here's a look at the data:


In May of 2008, we're looking at an Electoral Barometer rating of negative 63. If GDP numbers come in stronger in a few months, though, that number could rise substantially, though it would probably remain negative. I also wouldn't be entirely surprised if people soften to President Bush just a smidgen, knowing he's not going to be around to kick around any longer. Even the annoying girl in your 7th grade class didn't seem quite as annoying on the last day of school.

Moreover, John McCain is hardly an incumbent. He and President Bush have been at odds on many items of the years. Even more, Democrats already control Congress (and it's highly unlikely that will change in this election), and people tend to express appreciation for divided government.

Still, the political environment is terrible this year for Republicans. I don't think you can exclusively blame the President, either. Republicans can still regroup most of their liberty-loving "leave us alone" electoral coalition before November, especially given how out-of-the-mainstream Barack Obama is.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Unions Mean Higher Taxes.

Posted by Will Franklin · 29 May 2008 10:08 AM


I think there are fewer great choices out there willing to run for President because of all the mud slinging. I am going to have a difficult time voting for McCain because he hates the oil companies and I think he is too Liberal. He is more like the old time Dems. AND the Dems are more like Socialists! BUT he is the better than the alternative, maybe.

Posted by: ZsaZsa at May 29, 2008 10:50 AM

With an R-Squared of about .88, I have, unfortunately, a large degree of confidence in this predictor.

It will be unlikely for the news media to lay off of Bush, even considering he is a lame duck president. Except for a brief hiatus during the funeral, the news media *still* complain about Ronald Reagan.

It would appear that the only hope is for an economic turnaround (coupled with an October surprise of capturing Osama), which we are already, possibly, seeing.


Posted by: Izzy at May 29, 2008 11:34 AM