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Friday, June 08, 2007

Who was the most popular president since WWII?

The Wall Street Journal has presidential approval ratings since Harry Truman. Some of the numbers are surprising...

Create a common enemy to win more friends (Have a war). The two Bushes have used it better than others I suppose.
The approval ratings tend to have a common trend. Each president's approval rating is downward sloping. Many who were re-elected have a spike at the end of their first term. Also, the lines almost connect across presidencies indicating that they may all be effected by a common variable (I suspect gas price or inflation or some other economic variable). It would be interesting to see a linear model where gasoline price, war (dummy variable), term year (1,2,3,4), and re-election (dummy variable) are used as independent variables to predict presidential approval rating.

Then, one could plot the residuals across time to get a (perhaps) more accurate standard by which to judge presidencies.
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