Presidential Popularity and Reputation
This paper reports on the results of an empirical study of relationships between the popularity of US presidents and economic variables. Traditionally, these relationships are based on the hypothesis that voters hold the incumbent President responsible for the economic situation. We derive an alternative specification of popularity, based on the hypothesis that political parties perform better on different issues. Empirical evidence turns out to be strongly in favour of our hypothesis. Our findings have important implications for studies on government behaviour in which it is assumed that one of the objectives of administrations is to maximise votes.