Sarah Colegrove 11/14/2012 Homework 2 President Obama defeated Mitt Romney on November 6th.

There were many polls, predictions, and indicators that went from Obama winning in a landslide, Obama narrowly winning, Romney narrowly winning, and Romney winning by a landslide. The state of the economy can help to be a deciding factor in election results. There are four different theories that help to explain the state of the economy and how people view it: prospective-pocketbook, prospective-sociotopic, retrospective-pocketbook, and retrospective-sociotopic. The pocketbook approach is a very self-centered way of looking at the economy. People look at how they are personally doing as an indicator of the state of the economy; people who vote this way can often be low information voters. Sociotropic voting looks at a much wider scale. Voters look at the rates of homeless, poverty, and unemployment as indicators of the economy. Sociotropic voters tend to be higher information voters. Retrospective voting asks you to examine where you were four years ago and compare it to where you are today. Prospective voting asks people to look into the future and asks if things will be getting better. Using the retrospective-sociotopic form of economic voting we can predict that President Obama will win (which he did). The economic crisis that occurred during the end of Bush’s second term and the beginning of Obama’s first term plunged the United States into a recession. Improvements in the economy since the initial economic downturn allow Obama to say that “this is where we were when I first took office and this is where we are today”. While the

8% in 2010 but decreased to 7. Romney can use the gas prices to indicate that the economy is getting worse.3% in six years. They are able to see that these overarching economic areas. The U.60/gal in 2012. Emphasizing that the economy is getting worse for the individual – that they will lose their jobs and inflation will go up – many people can be swayed to vote for Romney. Romney is able to gain support by telling voters to look at where they were four years ago and show voters that the situation for them (the individual) has gotten worse. Bush had 22% rate while Obama has a 37% rate. It went from 9.4%.unemployment rate was lower in 2006 at 4. and their economic fear. In 2006 it went from 6. and the disposable . When the gas prices. have since improved in the past four years. Obama has a higher approval rating of how he handles the economy than Bush had in 2008.S. Many voters focus very much on what affects them and their pocketbook.17% to -. It went from $2. Obama has an advantage. The food price index increased from $157 to $192 in four years. People are able to looking at the issues of unemployment. The Dow Jones is another indicator. the food price index. confidence in the president. Overall.23/gal in 2006 to $3. looking at the above mentioned statistics. while initially plummeting.25% and is currently 3. it went from 31% to 33%. Confidence in the economy has improved since 2008.3% in six years. These overarching improvements in the economy will help to sway higher information voters and the decreasing economic fear helped to sway low information voters to vote for Obama.8% it rose to 9. The home loan interest rate is also in Obama’s favor. The real disposable income percentage went from 4.625 in 2008 to 13.8% this past quarter. Using the retrospective-pocketbook form of economic voting we can predict that Mitt Romney will win (which he did not). GDP rate has decreased from 3.150 in the past month.5% to 1. Romney ran much of his campaign on the concept that there has been an economic downturn and that President Obama’s policies have only made the situation worse than what it was.

This train of thought can be transferred to looking into the future – since things have been improving then it can be assumed that it will continue to improve in the future. it can help to influence voters to go with Romney rather than Obama. however. Why would these people being effected want to continue with the president that is costing them more? President Obama ended up winning the election. People were able to see that yes we did have an economic crisis at the beginning of his first term but overall things have improved since then.income have worsened since 2006. some voters see this and decide that it has gotten worse for the individual. They will chose the Republican Party no matter what (the same could be said of certain . this will not entice them to vote for him. I think that looking strictly at economic factors it is difficult to determine the exact results of the election. They experienced economic hardships during the economic crisis but now are starting to feel the economy turning around (their pocketbook is starting to be less effected in a negative way). I think that several voters (or at least enough voters) looked at what has happened in the past four years and decided that Obama has handle the economy well enough in the economic crisis and has improved upon the economy in several areas from where it was when he took office. I think that the “if it’s working well enough now and we don’t know what the next guy is going to do why change?” attitude towards the economy and presidential election is a result of the combination of retrospective and prospective attitude that played a role in Obama winning the election. Because all of the above mentioned affects the pocketbook of the individual in a very real and personal way. There are many areas of the country that might be doing quite well economically and have improved under President Obama. The form of economic voting that was present in the election was a combination of retrospective pocketbook and prospective pocketbook.

there are no certainties in predicting who the president will be (although we do know that it will be President Obama for the next four years) but it can help to give us an indicator of how it might turn out.Democrats voting only for Democrats no matter the economy). Looking at the four different forms of economic voting. .

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