Gubernatorial Midterm Slumps

Reprint No. 2012:42

Author(s): Olle Folke and James M. SnyderYear: 2012 Title: American Journal of Political Science Volume (No.): 56 (4) Pages: 931–948
Online article (restrictions may apply)

This article studies gubernatorial midterm slumps in U.S. state legislative elections. We employ a regression discontinuity design, which allows us to rule out the hypothesis that the midterm slump simply reflects a type of “reversion to the mean” generated by simple partisan swings or the withdrawal of gubernatorial coattails or “anticipatory balancing.” Our results show that the party of the governor experiences an average seat-share loss of about 3.5 percentage points. We also find evidence suggesting that a large share of the variation in gubernatorial midterm slumps can be accounted for by (1) crude partisan balancing and (2) referendums on state economic performance, with approximately equal weight given to each.

Folke, Olle and James M. Snyder (2012), "Gubernatorial Midterm Slumps". American Journal of Political Science 56(4), 931–948.

Olle Folke


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In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


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