News came out today that the U.S. economy grew at 2.8% during the third quarter of 2013. This is positive news. It’s also interesting to note that, were the presidential election held this November 7 instead of one year ago yesterday, President Obama still would likely have cruised to reelection, despite his lower-than-average approval ratings.
Why? Because economic growth + presidential approval is a very reliable predictor of the outcome of presidential elections. This tool (link here), developed by political scientists at GW, Yale, and UCLA, predicts that even with Obama’s current 43% approval rating, he would have a 77% chance of reelection given the Q1-Q3 average economic growth rate of 2.1%, if the election were held today.
At this rate of economic growth, Obama’s approval rating would have to be in the low 30s before a challenger would have a good shot of knocking him out in a general election. Should this rate of growth continue for three more years, it suggests a tentatively positive outlook for Democrats keeping the White House in 2016.