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2012 is Not about Unemployment. It's about Oil.


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American Thinker:

With U3, the primary measure of US unemployment, languishing around nine percent, many in Big Media now say that the jobless rate will be a key determinant of next year's election outcome. But that's just a Democrat red herring. There is virtually no historical correlation between the level of unemployment and the margin of victory (or loss) for the incumbent political party. Even the unemployment trend matters little until the election year.

Furthermore, as a mere symptom of economic disease, unemployment can be masked with economic quackery. For instance, an incumbent might entice foreign governments to boost global oil supplies temporarily. And if only the final year's trend affects an incumbent's reelection prospects, a cynical president might drive up unemployment for three years just to make it easier to reduce during the final few months of his first term in office.

Which final months matter? The Bureau of Labor Statistics has published monthly unemployment (U3) data since 1948, so statistical analyses can be performed for presidential elections since then. In order to verify that only the final few months matter and not the entire term, the analysis must begin with the 1952 campaign. That's 15 presidential elections -- probably not enough observations for a robust forecasting model, but enough to influence campaign strategies. The results are displayed on the following chart.snip
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