Even with Time, McCain’s Chances Contingent on Economy

In a recent Los Angeles/Bloomberg poll, the majority of U.S citizens believe the country is already in a recession. Popular opinion on the economy has played a strong part of presidential campaigns. For Senator John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, this may prove to be a critical issue for him in the upcoming presidential race.

Alison Fitzgerald, Bloomberg.com, March 24, 2008,

Seven months before Election Day, rising home foreclosures, shrinking financial assets and gasoline approaching a record $4 a gallon are daily reminders that the U.S. economy may be the worst in almost 30 years.

Even if a recovery begins this summer, Americans won’t feel the difference until much later. That’s why when the polls open Nov. 4, the Republicans, who have controlled the White House since 2001 and Congress for much of that time, will have ceded a key advantage to the Democrats.

Recessions shaped four presidential elections in the past half-century — in 1960, 1976, 1980 and 1992. Each time, the candidate from the party trying to retake the White House won. A model that uses economic data to predict presidential race outcomes has the Democrats getting 52 percent of the votes cast for the two major party candidates, says Ray Fair, the Yale University professor who developed it.

“The economic environment, based on all of the data I’ve ever seen, is the most powerful indicator of how the party in power will do,” says Jody Powell, a top aide to Jimmy Carter. He speaks from experience, having worked on Carter’s victorious 1976 presidential campaign and his 1980 loss to Ronald Reagan, which was flanked by two recessions.

“The economy will likely be the dominant issue” this year, Powell says.

As already widely speculated, McCain’s vice presidential candidate will address one of his weaknesses. If opinion polls continue to signal overall concern for the economy, McCain might end up choosing someone with a strong background in economics for his VP.

  • Michelle

    It’s pleasing to know that there are others out there who feel that no matter what, we can’t vote in another Republican. It’s time to get in a candidate whoare concerned abotu those who don’t have the means to help themseves. The people are the ones in this risi, the people are the only ones who can get us ot of this crisis. Remember to unite, Dems!

  • OBAMA_SUCKS

    SAY NO TO THE DEMS!!! VOTE McCAIN!

  • Jenny

    We don’t need a “shell shocked old man” leading this country.McCain is too old and been a POW for 6 years there is no way his mind is stable enough to lead this country

  • IndiMinded

    I think what we really need here is a lot more partisanship and mud slinging. I mean, a ton.

    Like, let’s just pretend a family of hogs is visiting the site tonight, and we want them to feel at home. I hear McCain’s really old and feeble minded! And that Obama’s only winning because he’s half-white! You know Hillary’s totally on the rag!

    4 more jeers! 4 more jeers!

    Is there a way we can start having knife fights on here?

  • Babs

    IndiMinded, like Grandpa said “Don’t bring no knife to a gunfight”. *LOL* “shell shocked old man”? Geez. You might as well have said his Momma wears combat boots.

  • Christopher Schwinger

    He is as mentally distorted as any Lib, and he’s emotionally unstable with that volcanic temper of his. He’d rather lose supporters by slamming and bashing anyone who criticizes Obama or Clinton, than offend his best friends (the liberal buddies). It’d be one thing if he said his forte wasn’t the economy and surrounded himself with good advisers. But he won’t even do that, because he just says he’s not into money matters but knows about how to fight terrorism. Excuse me for saying so, Straight Talk Express, but have you any idea what closing Guantanamo means? He’s bullheaded and smug. I would rather he just quit campaigning.

  • Dan

    McCain=Bush…Iraq War continues…more soldiers die…more hatred from Muslim extremists with our presence in the Middle East…gas prices continuing to rise…the American Dollar continued to be devalued…our rights taken away to supposedly fight terrorism…if that sounds great, vote for McCain.

    If you vote for a dem, then probably some of this won’t get worse. But, I don’t have any faith anymore in the political system.

    I’ll probably be a Canadian soon.

  • Christopher Schwinger

    Dan, I think McCain’s done a bad thing by souring everyone on the war on Iraq. He makes our fight against terrorism seem like some kind of crazy conquest. The terrorists hate us because we support Israel and represent an entirely different ideology. We’re spiritually so different from the Islamic world that those talks about one world government are insane. I agree with you that there is no excuse to violate the Constitution in time of war, as Woodrow Wilson did to anyone suspected of disapproving of U.S. involvement in World War I. The government should leave it to American citizens to report local terrorist activity, instead of using the terrorist threat as an excuse to become a nanny state.