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Will the state of the U.S economy be a factor during the 2020 election?

Assistant professor of political science Michael Sances answers:

“Presidential elections are typically referendums on the state of the economy, but as we all know, presidents inherit economies from their predecessors. Will voters attribute recent positive economic performance to Trump, or will they attribute it to his predecessor Barack Obama? In research I am working on now, I find that voters almost always attribute the current economy to the current incumbent, whether that incumbent has been in office for six months or six years. So, I think the economy will ultimately work toward Trump’s re-election. The Democratic nominee will have to either convince voters the economy is not that strong, or focus on other issues. I am skeptical voters can be convinced that the economy is not Trump’s responsibility.”

Michael Sances
Michael Sances

Michael Sances is an assistant professor of political science at Temple University. His research has been featured in a number of academic journals along with in popular media outlets such as the NYT, VOX & The Economist.

Does the nominee from the Democratic Party even matter? (2020 Election)

Assistant professor of political science Michael Sances answers:

“Will the Democratic nominee really affect what happens in November? Statistical models that ignore any qualities of the candidates do a pretty good job at predicting general election winners. More anecdotally, a low-quality nominee in 2016 did not seem to hurt the Republican party’s chances. Despite the intense media attention around who will win the nomination, I do not think it is entirely unreasonable to argue that it will not ultimately matter much.”

Michael Sances
Michael Sances

Michael Sances is an assistant professor of political science at Temple University. His research has been featured in a number of academic journals along with in popular media outlets such as the NYT, VOX & The Economist.