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NREI Real Vox

How Many Homes Does It Take to Be President?

With another presidential election cycle behind us and the inauguration about to take place, this would normally seem like a good period to take some time out from politics. But only if the people we’ve empowered to run our government actually come together to do the right thing.

This time around, it’s not looking too good, if the resolution to the fiscal cliff saga and the ongoing debate on raising the debt ceiling and dealing with sequestration are any guide. It And it doesn’t look to get any better anytime soon. But before we give up completely on having a productive, if not bipartisan, government and start hoping for things to change in 2016, it might be worth noting something that may be an indicator of which presidential candidate will actually win—no matter which party he (or she)—represents.

I’m not talking about the 7/11 coffee mug or Halloween mask polls, which, despite their silliness, actually have been quite accurate over the past three election cycles. Nor am I referring to Nate Silver, the sage of all pollsters, who has had a lock on uncanny accuracy for two election cycles. (Besides, he is human and likely to come up wrong at some point in his ascending career.)

The indicator that I find most reliable has to do with homeownership—that is, the homeownership of the candidates themselves. The fact is, over the past five elections it’s been the candidate who owned only one home while representing his party for the presidency has won, and the candidate who has owned two or more homes has lost.

Please see table below:

Year Candidates Number of Homes Owned Result
1992 Bill Clinton 1 Won
  George H.W. Bush 2  
1996 Bill Clinton 1 Won
  Bob Dole 2  
2000 George W Bush 1 Won
  Al Gore 2  
2004 George W Bush 1 Won
  John Kerry 5  
2008 Barack Obama 1 Won
  John McCain 8  
2012 Barack Obama 1 Won
  Mitt Romney 6  

What does this really mean? And is it a reliable method of predicting election outcomes? Nobody knows, but if you’re interested in becoming president you may want to look at your portfolio and see if it is consistent with what the average voter’s mindset.

Real estate ownership is a great way to create and transfer wealth over the long term. But if you’re looking to place a bet on a winning candidate in 2016, it might be a good idea to find out how many homes each candidate owns, along with his or her platform, as the next election cycle begins.

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