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Politics and Government
In 2016's presidential race, the winner will be ...
In 2016's presidential race, the winner will be ...

We treat political campaigns like slow-moving athletic competitions and like to pretend that every last gaffe could determine the next president of the United States. But most of us also know, at some level, that forces beyond strategy and personality decide national elections. Since 1978, based on data going back to 1916, I've documented how four conditions affect voting patterns. The first is whether the president is running again. If so, this has a positive effect on votes for the president. The second is how long a party has controlled the White House. Voters like change; when a party has been in power for two or more consecutive terms, this has a negative effect on votes for...

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