Class and Popular Support for Franklin Roosevelt in War and Peace (with Sam
popularity research has treated public opinion as a monolithic entity.
Yet research in economics suggests that different sectors of society
may respond differently to external events. History has judged FDR as
of America's greatest leaders in large part because he maintained his
popularity throughout the Depression and World War II. During this era,
the primary explanatory variables in presidential popularity
? the economy and war ? assumed their most extreme values of the
century. Yet FDR’s public support has received little systematic
Compiling partially disaggregated time-series data from 1937 to 1943,
investigate FDR’s popular support among different economic classes
both national crises. We find that Roosevelt's peacetime support
along class lines; while during the war class divisions blurred.
popular support was indeed conditioned by external events, refracted
the interests of different societal groups. We conclude that public
for modern presidents should be similarly studied as the sum of
among heterogeneous constituencies.
This article is available for download on JSTOR here.
The time-series data for this article is available for download as an Excel file here .