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Improving economy slightly favors Democrats in 2016 (but anything can happen)

History shows that a rebounding economy tends to favor the Democratic nominee in the 2016 presidential election, say two North Florida economists, with the caveat that it’s a long way between now and Nov. 8.

Forecasts for the coming year are all over the map, but economist Andres Gallo of the University of North Florida is on board with the bulk of predictions showing positive trend lines for the year. World GDP is projected to grow by about 2.7 percent in 2016.

“If the economy performs well, of course, it’s going to help the Democratic side,” Gallo told WJCT.

“If the economy doesn’t perform well, the conservatives will have a better time explaining how they’ll improve it. But I think the real issue is that politics is going to dominate this year, and politicians want to promise a perfect cure for everything. And the economy is always a work in progress. There is no one policy that can work miracles.”

Meanwhile, economist Hasan Pordeli of Jacksonville University said while it’s gratifying that the country is finally emerging from its long downturn, troubling issues remain, and strong leadership is needed.

“Obviously, politics and economics are intertwined. This year has been a crazy year in terms of politics, especially on the Republican side. Nobody knows who’s going to be the choice of the Republican party. This is a serious business. A lot of people should know that we have real issues. National debt is getting out of control. Political instability in the Middle East means we have safety and security issues to be concerned about. Whether it’s someone from the Republican or Democratic side, I hope it’s someone who really understands the management of a leading economy and has the leadership ability to take us through the next decade.”

Written By

In addition to her work writing for Florida Politics, Melissa Ross also hosts and produces WJCT’s First Coast Connect, the Jacksonville NPR/PBS station’s flagship local call-in public affairs radio program. The show has won four national awards from Public Radio News Directors Inc. (PRNDI). First Coast Connect was also recognized in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014 as Best Local Radio Show by Folio Weekly’s “Best Of Jax” Readers Poll and Melissa has also been recognized as Folio Weekly’s Best Local Radio Personality. As executive producer of The 904: Shadow on the Sunshine State, Melissa and WJCT received an Emmy in the “Documentary” category at the 2011 Suncoast Emmy Awards. The 904 examined Jacksonville’s status as Florida’s murder capital. During her years in broadcast television, Melissa picked up three additional Emmys for news and feature reporting. Melissa came to WJCT in 2009 with 20 years of experience in broadcasting, including stints in Cincinnati, Chicago, Orlando and Jacksonville. Married with two children, Melissa is a graduate of Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism/Communications. She can be reached at m.ross66211@gmail.com.

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