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'Rally Round the Flag’ Events for Presidential Approval Research
Electoral Studies (2010)
  • Brian Newman, Pepperdine University
  • Andrew Forcehimes

Since Mueller's [Mueller, J., 1970. Presidential popularity from Truman to Johnson. The American Political Science Review 64 (1), 18-34.] pioneering study, students of presidential approval ratings have agreed that major events affect these ratings. Despite this consensus, there is wide divergence in the ways that scholars have selected events for inclusion in models of approval ratings. This inconsistency inhibits direct comparisons across studies and raises the possibility that results are contingent on those selection criteria. Thus, what we have learned about the impact of various factors that may affect approval may depend on the details of selection criteria. Practically, scholars analyzing presidential approval ratings for any theoretical purpose must construct a list of events themselves, which takes considerable time. We propose a set of selection criteria and construct a list of events from 1953 to 2006 that scholars can employ. We also demonstrate that the list of events generates empirical results that comport with extant findings in the presidential approval literature.

  • Politics,
  • presidential approval ratings,
  • Mueller,
  • selection criteria,
  • rally events
Publication Date
Citation Information
Brian Newman and Andrew Forcehimes. "'Rally Round the Flag’ Events for Presidential Approval Research" Electoral Studies Vol. 29 Iss. 1 (2010)
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