When there is an easy chance for people to pass the blame onto a party they don’t like, they’ll take it
Tooting my own horn: Here’s the university’s press release for my recent article. It gets things mostly right.
A down economy usually spells trouble for incumbents, but a new study shows that six Republicans up for re-election this year caught a break when John McCain lost the last presidential election.
The analysis found that some voters are less objective (and more forgiving) in evaluating their governor’s economic performance if the White House is controlled by the opposing political party.
“When there is an easy chance for people to pass the blame onto a party they don’t like, they’ll take it,” said Adam Brown, assistant professor of political science.
The study, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of Politics, found that whenever the president and the governor belong to opposing parties, voters will overestimate the policy success of the level of government their preferred party controls. This means that members of the governor’s party will paint a rosier picture of their state’s economy when the White House is controlled by a member of an opposing party.