Douglas Hibbs’s latest paper on his “bread and peace” model (predicting presidential election voting based on the economy, with corrections for wartime) is here. It’s clear and worth a read. Even more amusing (to me, but probably not to most of you) is this exchange, which Hibbs posted on his webpage.
[Scroll down to the bottom to see my latest version of the graph.]
Here’s my first version of the killer graph (adapted from Hibbs’s to include his 2004 data):
This looks pretty good. The big exceptions are 1952 (Korean war) 1968 (Vietnam war). Beyond that, as Hibbs noted, 1996 and 2000 are the biggest outliers.
This stuff isn’t news–we all heard about it in grad school. But at another level, it’s always news.
Which picture do you prefer?
Here was my first try at the graph:
I put in some effort to make the more elaborate graph higher up on the page as a template for a sort of enhanced scatterplot that provides more information about each data point. I’ve seen this sort of dotplot before, and it seemed to make sense, since the points were roughly evenly spaced along the “economic growth” axis anyway.
I prefer the top graph on the page. But . . . there’s something compelling about the scatterplot–forecasting y from x–that seems to be lost in the more elaborate dotplot. So I’m not quite sure what to do.
P.S. In his article, Hibbs convincingly explains why his model is much better than the much-ballyhooed Ray Fair model.
A new contestant
Following Sandapanda’s comment below, I redid the upper graph width different proportions so that the area with the dots is larger. I also gave it a cleaner title:
Is it better now?
Or maybe I should plot them in decreasing order of avg income growth (i.e., 1964 and 1984 at the top, down to 1992 and 1980 at the bottom). This might be clearer because the dots would show a satisfying increasing relationship (rather than the more confusing negative slope seen here).
OK, OK, . . .
Here’s the newest version:
I wasn’t thrilled with this last version because it didn’t make it clear what is being predicted from what. Here’s a new version (see below) which puts the economic growth first, followed by the election outcome: