Singing Loudly: Presidential Elections and Popular Music: Which influences which?

Singing Loudly

Friday, October 29, 2004

Presidential Elections and Popular Music: Which influences which?

Recycled from 8/6.04

From the coming Billboard Music Hot 100 chart the top song is:

Over And Over, Nelly Featuring Tim McGraw.

Best case scenario, this means that Bush and Cheney are over and the nightmare of this election cycle is also over. If you think this method of election prediction is silly, then read all the previous election year's songs of the week.

I wanted to look at the top songs on pop music radio the week of various elections to see if there is any correlation.


The disputed election that matched George W. Bush against then VP Al Gore found Nsync - It's Gonna Be Me as the top song. At the end of the election week both candidates were telling America that it is gonna be me when the election dispute was settled. Ultimately, of course, Bush won the electoral college vote.


Was a fairly unremarkable election contest between Senator Bob Dole and the incumbent President Clinton. Ironically, it was the Alanis Morisette - You Learn that plagued the airwaves that election week. Perhaps the Republican Party learned not to put such an uncharismatic candidate up against the likes of Clinton. Maybe Bob Dole learned that he should relax and be himself instead of falling off stages.


Governor Bill Clinton decided to take on President Bush in this election. The charts were filled with prophesy with Boys II Men - End of the Road signaling just that for Bush. Unfortunately, it was not the last we saw of independent candidate Ross Perot, who took awhile to realize that he had no road.


Vice President George Bush took to the campaign trail against Governor Dukakis of Massachusetts. The hit song that week was Steve Winwood - Roll with It. Following in the footsteps of President Reagan, Bush had no problem just rolling with it against a rather weak opponent.


The typical causes of the parties were swapped in this election as Senator Mondale accused incumbent President Reagan of horrendous budget deficits. The radio was flooded with the gentle sounds of Stevie Wonder - I Just Called to Say I Love You, which was the American public. The voters showed up to the election and gave President Reagan an 18 point margin win.


Incumbent President Carter was matched up against Governor Reagan from California in this election. Supertramp - Dreamer was the song flooding the airwaves. I think that the whole idea of a "misery index" was a bit of dreaming from the Republican party, however, Carter and the Democrats weren't savvy enough to defeat that and the Iran Hostage Crisis. Of course, there are also dreams of some massive conspiracy surrounding the hostage situation as they were released when Reagan took office. Could it have been planned that way or are people merely dreaming?


Incumbent President Ford (never elected President or Vice President, correct?) faced opposition by both Governor Carter of Georgia, and, in the primaries, from Governor Reagan. It came down to Ford and Carter at the elections while Chicago - If You Leave Me Now was ruling the radiowaves. Of course, as Reagan suspected, Ford did leave us after asserting the false claim that Eastern Europe was free from Soviet control. It was a narrow victory but Carter won.


Nixon went against the non-opponent of George McGovern. McGovern was soon depicted as a radical leftist and had no chance. Johnny Nash - I Can See Clearly Now came true when Nixon had to step down from office.

Interesting if nothing else.


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