The Relationship Between Weather and Presidential Politics

Chicago's Lake Shore Drive, Wednesday

A couple of months back, I read an article that discussed the impact of winter weather on presidential politics. The article (which I did not save, and of course can not find) posited that when there is an increased number of winter storms, or an increase in the severity of winter storms, people are not likely to reelect their president. This is because when they think back to the president’s term, they remember it less favourably because they suffered through miserable winter weather, even though that has nothing to do with the president.

Today I was thinking about this article, as it is Groundhog Day, and there is a massive storm affecting Canada and the United States. To be fair, this was not a scholarly article. It was simply posted on some random political site (and it’s still bothering me that I can not find it again). Nevertheless, you’ll have to take my word for it. So if this is true, we could assume that the winters between 1977 and 1980 were terrible, and the ones between 1989 and 1992 and so on, because those were the winters of presidents who were not reelected. I am sure if I really wanted to, I could examine weather from those years, but I research politics, not weather.

If this is the case, today’s weather does not bode well for President Obama. Today’s storm hit the midwest very hard. Areas such as Ohio and Pennsylvania were hammered with snow. In addition, other states were adversely affected as well. Perhaps mother nature is not happy with Mr. Obama’s performance. The good news is that mot of the groundhogs in North America predicted that spring is on the way. Maybe he will get lucky with an early spring and a more forgiving winter in 2012.

So what do you think? Does winter weather impact the chances of a president getting reelected? Will people remember the miserable winter weather and equate that with a poor performance, even though the two are not related at all?

I personally think it has ZERO relevance. Can you tell I was stumped for a topic today? 😉


About Chris James

A student of political science at a Canadian University sharing stories of interest on Canadian and American political and social issues.

Posted on February 3, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Even if weather does effect how people vote, it is still likely more informed than how most people vote these days…

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