MarketWatch's Paul Brandus tries to rise above the noise of the presidential election campaign by looking at cold hard numbers to determine which party has proven to be best for the economy.

Brandus sifts through a study of seven decades of data--which encompass seven Democrat and nine Republican presidents--starting at the end of World War II. And the numbers show that, perhaps surprisingly, the pro-business Republican Party typically presides over weaker economies:

Economic growth in real terms (in other words adjusted for inflation) averaged 2.54% per year under Republican presidents, but 4.35% per year under Democratic ones. That annual difference of 181 basis points ... really adds up over time.  

It means that real GDP expanded 18.6% during a “typical Democratic four-year term, but only by 10.6% during a typical Republican term.” Adding more fuel to the argument, The Economist notes that better job creation and stock market performance also coincide more with Democratic presidents than Republican ones.

So how to explain the better performance under Democratic presidents? Perhaps it’s just luck and timing. Or, perhaps, it’s philosophical differences. 

Check out the rest of the column over at MarketWatch:
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