Unemployment Has Nowhere to Go But Up for Trump

Fox News recently took some heat for posting a graphic listing unemployment rates at the 100-day mark of various presidents’ terms. Here, for reference, is a slightly more complete list:

People ridiculing Fox’s graph note that at this stage of a presidency, unemployment is almost entirely determined by what happened during the previous president’s term. With the exception of 1980, the U.S. has tended to elect Democratic presidents when the economy is bad. If we look at how the unemployment rate changed during the course of each presidency, we get a different picture:

This is important, because when election day rolls around, voters probably care more about whether, in the words of Ronald Reagan, they’re better off than they were four years ago. In 2011, forecaster Nate Silver looked at some of the most famous economy-based election forecasting models. He found that the economy’s performance during a president’s term had



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