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Campaign Throwback: 'The Economy, Stupid'

FiveThirtyEight Politics

ABC News

News, Politics

4.620.3K Ratings

🗓️ 8 May 2024

⏱️ 26 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


This is the first installment of the 538 Politics podcast mini-series, “Campaign Throwback.” Across three episodes, we're taking a look back at campaign tropes from past elections such as, “it’s the economy, stupid,” or “soccer moms” or that question about which candidate you’d rather share a beer with. We’ll ask where those tropes came from, whether they were actually true at the time and if they still hold up today. Our first installment: “It’s the economy, stupid.” It's a trope that dates back to Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. Clinton's chief strategist at the time, James Carville, had three main messages for his staff to remember: 1) Change vs. more of the same 2) The economy, stupid, and 3) Don't forget about healthcare. The second message was memorialized in a 1993 documentary about the Clinton campaign called "The War Room," and has taken on a life of its own in the field of election analysis. But is it accurate? https://surfshark.deals/FIVE38 Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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As in previous campaigns, it's the economy stupid. We'll be looking at that this morning.


First though, it's the news, stupid.


It is the economy stupid.


It's not the economy stupid.


It's the hair stupid, not the economy stupid. It's national security stupid. It's the hair stupid, not the economy


stupid, it's the hair.


Hello. Hello and this is the first installment of our mini-series-Truk and this is the first


installment of our mini-series campaign throwback.


Across three episodes today and the next two Wednesdays, we're going to take a look back at campaign


tropes from past elections, like it's the economy stupid, or soccer moms, or that question about which


candidate you'd rather have a beer with?


We'll ask where those tropes came from, whether they were actually true at the time, and if they still hold up today.


In our first installment, it's the economy stupid.


New Hampshire, nine days before the first primary in our 1992 election of a president of the


United States. It is said here that people are angry. You're tired of recession and layoffs.


The year was 1992. An incumbent George H.W. Bush was running for re-election and for a fourth consecutive Republican term in the White House.


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