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Biden’s Economic Edge

Contrary to widespread belief, post-war Democratic US presidents have been significantly better for the American economy than Republicans have. There is every reason to believe that trend will continue if Joe Biden wins on November 3.

CAMBRIDGE – In a few days, Americans will choose a president. Opinion polling suggests that voters favor former Vice President Joe Biden when it comes to social policy, foreign policy, the environment, and managing the pandemic, not to mention personal character. But until recently, some polls indicated that on the economy, voters favored President Donald Trump.

The general impression that the US economy does better under Republicans than Democrats is long-standing. But the facts do not support it.

In the 16 complete presidential terms since World War II, from Harry Truman through Barack Obama, annual GDP growth averaged 4.3% under Democratic presidents, versus 2.5% under Republicans. Trump’s presidency has pulled down the Republican score further. In fact, average annual growth during his term to date has actually been negative.