Claims about candidates

by on March 26, 2016 at 2:02 am in Current Affairs, Economics, Political Science | Permalink

The Trump sector allocation: POSITIVE for consumer discretionary, energy, industrials, information technology (IT), materials, and telecom services; NEGATIVE for consumer staples and healthcare; and NEUTRAL for financial services and utilities. The Clinton sector allocation: POSITIVE for industrials, IT, materials, and utilities; NEGATIVE for consumer discretionary, energy, and telecom services; and NEUTRAL for consumer staples, financials and healthcare. The sectors that benefit regardless: industrials, IT, and materials.

That is from Chris Krueger of Guggenheim Partners, via Politico, via the excellent Kevin Lewis.  Caveat emptor, this strikes me as silly rather than instructive, I’ll add that Trump might be good for the media sector if nothing else.  Kevin also refers us to this interesting paper by Marty Wattenberg:

This article examines sixty years of data from the American National Election Studies, and finds that the electorate’s focus on candidate attributes has declined substantially. Whereas 80% of respondents had mentioned personal attributes in the past, in recent elections only about 60% have done so. Furthermore, such comments are now more tied to partisan identification and have less of an independent impact on voting behavior. The chances of presidential image makers successfully making a difference by emphasizing a president’s personal character are now much less than in the era of Johnson, Nixon, and Reagan.

Here is the gated link.

1 prior_test2 March 26, 2016 at 2:30 am

‘Caveat emptor, this strikes me as silly rather than instructive, I’ll add that Trump might be good for the media sector if nothing else.’

This is either an utterly self-aware parody of how a continuing obsession with Trump is now de rigeur in any media presence involved in influencing public policy, or an utterly unself-aware parody of how a continuing obsession with Trump is now de rigeur in any media presence involved in influencing public policy.

2 So Much For Subtlety March 26, 2016 at 3:13 am

My first assumption would be that modern characters have no personality. But that would not be fair. The present front runners have deeply unpleasant personalities but they have been in the public eye for a long time. So everyone knows what they are like.

Thus I would conclude this is rationalization. Everyone knows that they are all horrible people. So everyone knows that claiming you support someone because of, rather than despite, their personality ain’t credible. Thus everyone has to think of some other reason to explain their preferences.

Still, if true, it is good news for the main candidates. I can’t see anyone liking Hillary or Trump or Sanders or Kasich personally.

We would have to wait to see someone who is basically a decent and pleasant human being running before we could draw any real conclusion. When was the last one? George W perhaps.

3 Marc E. Marc March 26, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Sanders isn’t likable? Really? Haven’t seen any of his toned-down interviews I guess…

What’s that word that everyone likes around here? Priors or summat

4 So Much For Subtlety March 26, 2016 at 7:35 pm

I don’t think Sanders is likeable. That is the point – he has to tone it down.

His normal default looks to be the angry uncle banging the table and ranting about the Jews who really run Wall Street. Well obviously, not that for Bernie but something like that. He is clearly an angry and bitter man.

How is he likely to respond to a grand daughter disagreeing with him? I imagine he would end up throwing the Thanksgiving Turkey across the room.

5 Marc E. Marc March 26, 2016 at 8:03 pm

He polls very well on measures of authenticity and honesty, which are useful proxies for likability. The enthusiasm of his support base is also a suitable indicator.

The public generally is fine with angry directed at the right targets- namely Wall Street and incompetent/corrupt pols. This explains a certain subset of Trump’s support, which he mostly squanders with his absurd ad hominem attacks and less than subtle (pun intended) nativism.

He might not move you with his rhetoric and style, but I suspect that is aligned with your financial and ideological motives as much as anything

6 So Much For Subtlety March 26, 2016 at 8:34 pm

I am not sure that authenticity and honesty do work as proxies for likeability. Maybe in the past. Maybe in normal times. We are not in normal times.

This is just rationalization. People who support him need to think of a reason to do so. Doesn’t mean it is true.

7 rayward March 26, 2016 at 7:43 am

The electorate no longer cares about candidate attributes? According to polling data, most Trump voters support a tax increase for those with the highest income, yet Trump’s actual policy proposal is an enormous tax cut for those with the highest income. According to polling data, most Cruz voters are opposed to more intervention in the middle east, yet Cruz has loudly and repeatedly stated his intention to attack Iran. The electorate is either clueless about actual policies Trump and Cruz intend to implement once elected or the electorate doesn’t care. Why the disconnect? Because candidate attributes are what draw people to Trump and, to a much lesser extent, Cruz. The electorate associates Democrats with deficits and Republicans with balanced budgets. That’s a howler!

8 Fletch March 26, 2016 at 8:43 am

“The electorate no longer cares….”


The Electorate (the body of persons entitled to vote in an election) doesn’t even vote.

All this trumped up media circus about the Primaries is meaningless to citizens
Well less than 20% of eligible American are voting in these Primaries ….. 80%+ are not participating. And voter turnout is much above normal this Primaries season.

“I don’t care who does the electing as long as I get to do the
— Boss Tweed of Tammany Hall NYC

9 Dan Lavatan March 26, 2016 at 6:02 pm

Well it is a matter of focus. As you say, I don’t want to intervene in the mid east, but if Cruz can end ethanol and the import export bank, I will be a happy camper and I suppose he can knock himself out as long as he doesn’t increase the debt ceiling. Besides, he will have to gut domestic spending to pay for the adventurism, and once the war ends we’ll have a much lower government % of GDP. Cruz 2016 woot!

10 Roger Sweeny March 26, 2016 at 9:06 am

I wonder how much of this is social desirability bias. Respectable opinion today says you are supposed to care about issues not personalities, so you say you do.

11 dearieme March 26, 2016 at 10:33 am

Why has Rubio’s campaign allegedly supplied a scandal-sheet with details of Cruz’s alleged mistresses if the electorate is uninterested in candidates’ attributes?

Hm: “attributes” wasn’t being used in a nudge-nudge wink-wink sense, was it?

12 King Cynic March 26, 2016 at 12:54 pm

If Trump wins, short America.

13 DJF March 26, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Great Idea!

Once Trump takes office and all the anti-Trumper’s run to Canada the real Americans can buy up their assets for pennies on the dollar.

14 Dan Lavatan March 26, 2016 at 5:59 pm

Aside from being a madman, Trump is bad for IT – look at him attacking Apple for instance, and by proxy the entire industry. Materials, like every other commodity are on a long term train to zero. I don’t think they could do well under any conceivable set of circumstances, and I’m not sure how into mining Hdawg is. Not sure how well industrials do in a recession. I guess the company that makes whaterver the wall is made out of could do well, but Trump would want it to go to his own firm, and congress will stall by extending it only 5 feet per year.

On the positive side, I’m not sure how any of them can attack consumer staples. Are people going to stop eating eggs?

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