Ecologies of Unease: Geographic Context and National Economic Evaluations

Ecologies of Unease: Geographic Context and National Economic Evaluations Assessment of the nation’s economic performance has been repeatedly linked to voters’ decision-making in U.S. presidential elections. Here we inquire as to where those economic evaluations originate. One possibility in the politicized environment of a major campaign is that they are partisan determinations and do not reflect actual economic circumstances. Another possibility is that these judgments arise from close attention to news media, which is presumably highlighting national economic conditions as a facet of campaign coverage. Still a third explanation is that voters derive their national economic evaluations from living out their lives in particular localities which may or may not be experiencing the conditions that affect the nation as a whole. Drawing upon data from the 2008 presidential election, we find that varying local conditions do shape the economic evaluations of political independents. Moreover, unemployment is not the only salient factor, as fuel prices and foreclosures also figured prominently. Local economic factors, what we call geotropic considerations, shape national economic evaluations especially for those who aren’t making these judgments on simple partisan grounds. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Political Behavior Springer Journals

Ecologies of Unease: Geographic Context and National Economic Evaluations

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Political Science and International Relations; Political Science; Sociology, general
ISSN
0190-9320
eISSN
1573-6687
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11109-011-9167-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Assessment of the nation’s economic performance has been repeatedly linked to voters’ decision-making in U.S. presidential elections. Here we inquire as to where those economic evaluations originate. One possibility in the politicized environment of a major campaign is that they are partisan determinations and do not reflect actual economic circumstances. Another possibility is that these judgments arise from close attention to news media, which is presumably highlighting national economic conditions as a facet of campaign coverage. Still a third explanation is that voters derive their national economic evaluations from living out their lives in particular localities which may or may not be experiencing the conditions that affect the nation as a whole. Drawing upon data from the 2008 presidential election, we find that varying local conditions do shape the economic evaluations of political independents. Moreover, unemployment is not the only salient factor, as fuel prices and foreclosures also figured prominently. Local economic factors, what we call geotropic considerations, shape national economic evaluations especially for those who aren’t making these judgments on simple partisan grounds.

Journal

Political BehaviorSpringer Journals

Published: May 24, 2011

References

  • Credit card debts of the poor: High and rising
    Bird, EJ; Hagstrom, PA; Wild, R
  • Contextual effects on retrospective economic evaluations: The impact of the state and local economy
    Books, J; Prysby, C

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