Looking to the future: Prospective economic voting in 2008 Presidential Elections

Kristin Michelitch, Marco Morales, Andrew Owen, Joshua A. Tucker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Despite the economic turmoil of the time, a typical study of vote choice in the 2008 US Presidential Election would (falsely) find little evidence that voters' opinions about the future state of the economy affected their vote choice. We argue that this misleading conclusion results from serious measurement error in the standard prospective economic evaluations survey question. Relying instead on a revised question, included for the first time in the 2008 American National Election Study, we find that most respondents condition their prospective economic evaluations on potential election outcomes, and that these evaluations are an important determinant of vote choice. A replication in a very different political context - the 2008 Ghanaian election - yields similar results.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)838-851
    Number of pages14
    JournalElectoral Studies
    Issue number4
    StatePublished - Dec 2012


    • 2008 American National Elections
    • 2008 Ghanaian Presidential Election
    • Prospective economic voting
    • Survey methodology
    • Vote choice

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Political Science and International Relations


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