The Guns of November: Presidential Reelections and the Use of Force, 1947-1982
Stoll, Richard J.
A number of recent studies have investigated relationships between the presidential election cycle and the implementation of various policies. This article falls in this tradition, and asks whether a link exists between the reelection efforts of presidents, and the visible use of military force by the United States. After outlining why, and under what conditions, such a connection can be expected, a multivariate statistical model is tested for the time period 1947-1982. Despite the presence of several control variables, the results indicate that there is a connection, with fewer visible uses of force associated with presidential reelections in peacetime, and a slight increase in uses of force associated with presidential reelections during wartime.