The study results show a significant correlation between an increased tax burden and a failure to reelect a governor associated with the increase. In gubernatorial races where reelection was not an option, the incumbent-party candidate in an open race was found to be less likely to be elected than the out-party candidate. Indeed, in the 1986 gubernatorial races, economics as experienced at the practical, voter-household level, appears to have exerted a greater influence than ideology per se.
"pocketbook economics," hence on voter behavior (NSV 944). They describe structuring a statistical model that includes such variables as the state of the local and national economies and whether and/or how many state taxes were raised, plus the characteristics of voters (e.g., socioeconomic status, social demographics) and candidates.
The principal lesson to be drawn from looking at the two articles is that statistical studies can be constructed from retrospective data and careful selection of variables for analysis. One does not have to be an expert in statistics to see that some attitudes can be measured mathematically, even though behavior is commonly thought of as a purely psychological activity. The better political behavior and dynamics can be understood, the more likely it may be that the vagaries of policy formation and responses to policy can be clarified.
Kone, S.L., & Winters, R.F. (1993, February). Taxes and voting: Electoral retribution in the American states. Journal of Politics, 55, 22-40.