Professor Gregory Huber and Graduate Student Jennifer Wu have a new article in the Journal of American Politics Research entitled How Does Job Loss Affect Voting? Understanding Economic Voting Using Novel Data on COVID-19 Induced Individual-Level Unemployment Shocks.
Prior research on economic voting generally finds that national economic performance affects incumbent support. However, the degree to which one’s personal economic situation shapes vote choice remains less clear. In this study, we use novel survey data collected during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide more credible evidence about the effect of changes in personal economic experiences on intended vote choice. Our design uses an objective measure of change in personal economic situation by asking respondents their employment status prior to the pandemic and at the time of the survey. Given the widespread and abrupt way in which the pandemic induced unemployment, we argue that this design reduces concerns about confounders that explain both vote choice and job loss. Our analysis demonstrates that individuals whose personal economic conditions worsened during the pandemic were significantly less like to intend to vote for Trump in the 2020 election.