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Thanks, that answers a lot of the questions I had swimming around my head when I left my first comment. Voters may not be perfectly rational, but they're smart enough to recognize that FDR's baseline was much lower than Hoover's. I hope that's still true today. I don't get the sense that the average American is understanding the causes of our current economic decline and how best to climb back out. All that aside, I'd bet you're right about contribution by sector. And I'd bet a closer look today would tell a problematic story (financial market recovery on the strength of its own money rather than on the strength of significantly better output down the supply chain). Yeah, that was the example I had in mind. Thanks for the replies.
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GDP has also gone back up today. GDP is obviously a really crude metric, but at a certain pace of growth, some of it essentially has to trickle down to most of the (voting eligible) population. I'm not sure I understand the basis for this statement. This depends on what sectors of the economy are contributing to that growth and how that translates into future expansion, does it not? I guess I'd need to look at what has driven GDP growth over the past year and a half.
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9. The economy plays the most important role in presidential approval and presidential election outcomes. I guess the question I would have - since we often like to draw parallels between now and the 1930s - is how did Roosevelt win such a landslide in 1936 if the economy plays the most important role? Was it that people just genuinely believed that things were getting better? Was it that the actions that Roosevelt took in his first term (establishing unemployment benefits, etc) were overwhelmingly popular? It seems like there are similarities in the situation we find ourselves in, but not necessarily in the mindset of how Americans perceive the situation we're in.
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Aug 6, 2010