A psychological bias helps to explain why voters focus on the election-year economy

There are many factors voters take into account when choosing which candidate to elect. However, one of the more intriguing stats surrounding presidential elections is how highly voters taking the present economy into account during an election year. The present condition of the economy has been found to rank higher in voter importance than gay marriage, abortion and even the candidates’ voting record.

Presidential Election:

In the United States the President, and Vice President, are elected every four years by indirect public vote. This allows the citizens of America, who are over 18 and eligible to vote, to let the voice be heard. Each state is made up of a set number of members which comprise the U.S. Electoral College. The U.S. Electoral College then directly elects the President and Vice President.

Psychosocial Bias:

Overwhelming evidence and statistics have been compiled to show what happens within the Presidents first three years of office are not of large significance when it comes to getting re-elected. One of the primary factors voters do however take into account when choosing the next President of the United States is the present condition of the American economy. When the economy is booming the incumbent President more often than not retains his place in office and is re-elected. While when the economy is suffering and in a recession, the incumbent is at a great risk for losing a bid for re-election and a new President is typically voted into office.

Psychologists have studied the economy and how it drastically affects the American voter and alters public perception. It appears the American public often develops a case of amnesia when election years come around and forget the prior years of hard economic times and instead tend to focus on the present day conditions of the economy. Economist s are trying to inform voters on the history of the American economy, so voters are better educated and more informed with heading to the polls on election day and not just taking into account the current conditions of the economy. Physiologist are also trying to reach out to voters and to explain the bias many voters bring to the voting booth and may not even be aware they are doing so.



It is often assumed the current economic condition will drastically influence American voters and many argue if the economy had been slightly different in 2008 that John McCain would have been elected President instead of Barrack Obama. The American public seems to be stuck in a voting rut and largely casting votes on the beliefs and attitudes surrounding the economy. Psychologists have blamed this bias on cognitive dissonance, and claim voters are not even aware they are basing their votes on the economy. The incumbent party does an excellent job of using this fact to its advantage and pushes the economic agenda onto the voters through media, debates and social media outlets. However, without further information at voters disposable, they will more likely than not continue to let the economy shape and alter their voting on a whole.

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