Here is the growth of the U.S. economy, as measured by the change in the gross domestic product, in the July-September quarter of presidential election years dating to 1980. GDP is the nation's total output of goods and services.
A minus number means the economy contracted during that quarter.
|Years||Third quarter GDP growth rate||Outcome of presidential race|
|1980||-0.7 percent||Reagan defeats incumbent Carter|
|1984||3.9 percent||Incumbent Reagan defeats Mondale|
|1988||2.1 percent||George H.W. Bush defeats Dukakis|
|1992||4.2 percent||Clinton defeats incumbent Bush|
|1996||3.5 percent||Incumbent Clinton defeats Dole|
|2000||0.3 percent||George W. Bush defeats Gore|
|2004||3.0 percent||Incumbent Bush defeats Kerry|
|2008||-3.7 percent||Obama defeats McCain|
|2012||2.0 percent||Obama and RomneyOutcome ???|