Will 2016 Be A Change Election?

Andrew Sullivan —  May 9 2014 @ 5:12pm

Change

Brendan Nyhan finds reason to believe so:

As [political scientist Alan] Abramowitz has shown, the incumbent party has typically fared worse in “time for change” elections like 2016 during the post-World War II era. When the incumbent party has held the White House for two or more terms, it has won only two of nine elections since 1948. When the incumbent party has held the presidency for only one term, it has won seven of eight.

Moreover, historical data suggests that the public’s attitude today is similar to the run-up to a previous “time for change” election that didn’t go well for the incumbent party. As the chart indicates, the percentage of Americans who currently favor “different policies and programs” is closer to levels from the 2005-2006 period under George W. Bush, another relatively unpopular second-term president presiding over a weak economic recovery, than from 1999-2000, when Bill Clinton was president and the economy was much stronger.