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Why elections have no connection with the economy?

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James Carville, campaign manager for former US President Bill Clinton, had the last word on the relationship between the economy and elections. In the 1992 election, Clinton’s opponent was George Bush, who had seen a surge in popularity due to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1991 and the Gulf War.

However, within a year, Bush’s popularity declined, largely due to the economic recession due to high inflation and job insecurity. In response to a question about why voters would choose Clinton over Bush in such challenging economic times, Carville succinctly said, “The economy, stupid.”

The importance of the economy in elections was already clear when Ronald Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in 1981. At the time, the US was suffering from a severe recession, and global inflation added pressure. The public’s rejection of Carter marked the beginning of a strong relationship between the economy and elections. The phrase, coined 31 years ago, has since become a staple in the political lexicon.

As the US approaches another election with Joe Biden as president, discussions about the economy have resurfaced, with emphasis on its crucial role in winning the election. Larry Bartels, an American political scientist, conducted research showing that for every one percent increase in GDP growth, votes for the ruling party increase by one percent.

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