Presidential election: performance of the incumbent administration: (cid:498)do you approve or disapprove of the way ____ is handling his job as president? (cid:499) Most presidents decline as they are further in office. Presidents approval rating in the summer can usually indicate the outcome of the election: real change in gdp. But this also depends on the trend, not exactly the # (whether it is going down or up or whatever) 1984- unemployment was at 7. 5%, but because it was dropping from 10%, reagan won very big. 1992- unemployment was at 7. 5%, but it was stagnant so he lost. When assessing trends in economic growth the public has a short time horizon 6- This year: all of these trends are different. Obama has been a non-issue in the election that the voters are so focused on the character of the candidates.