Rattner’s charts: Job growth and its impact on re-election


A CBS News Instant poll conducted following Tuesday’s Hofstra debate shows Americans favor Mitt Romney when it comes to handling the economy.

Sixty-five percent of respondents gave Romney the edge on the issue, while 34 percent said President Obama would do a better job.

Morning Joe economic analyst Steve Rattner—and his famous charts—joined the gang to discuss how GDP and job growth affect a president’s chances of re- election.

Watch the full clip HERE.

How does the president’s current economic situation measure up when considered historically? Does job growth guarantee re-election for an incumbent president? Rattner looked at presidencies since the Carter administration to see.

Here’s what he had to say about real GDP:

“One measure that people often look at is real GDP, which is obviously how much has the economy grown? So for each of these presidents, we start with the beginning of their first term, and then we progress ourselves out to their re-election point…By this measure, Obama is pretty much at the bottom of the pack, and the other four presidents that have preceded him all had substantially better performances when it comes to plain economic growth. Now economic growth is not a recipe alone for re-election, because Bush 41 did not get re-elected and Jimmy Carter, of course, did not get re-elected.”

And job growth:

“Job growth is obviously what everybody talks about as a major factor in these elections…[Bill] Clinton is sort of the gold standard with 9.9% job growth. And then you see both Obama and Bush 43 essentially with no job growth…You see a mixed picture of presidents who got re-elected and how the job growth corresponds. What’s not on here is Jimmy Carter, who actually had the best job growth of all of them. He had 12% job growth during his first four years and still didn’t get re-elected.”

Rattner's charts: Job growth and its impact on re-election