The Grand Old Party (GOP) is known for supporting big business. So it pays to elect Republicans to the White House, right? If you analyze the stock market performance under Republican and Democratic presidents, the answer is a resounding NO. Democratic presidents generate average stock market returns in excess of the risk-free rate of 10.69% -- roughly six times the 1.69% earned under Republican administrations.
Investopedia describes the research of Pedro Santa-Clara and Rossen Valkanov who analyzed the value-weighted returns on stocks between 1927 and 1998 under Democratic and Republican presidents. And they found that the excess returns of stocks over the risk-free rate of return -- as measured by the Center for Research into Securities Prices (CRSP) indexes versus three-month Treasury bill rates -- were far higher for Democratic presidents (10.69%) than for Republican ones (1.69%).
Of course, these are just long-term statistics. Under the last Democratic president, stocks rose an annual average of 17.4%. The current Republican White House occupant has presided over an average annual decline of 1.1% -- the S&P 500 was 1,342 when he took over and stands at 1,233 today -- the only president of either party of the last 11 to oversee a decline in stocks.
There are many people who don't care about stock prices when considering a president. For them, these statistics are irrelevant. But for those who enjoy owning stocks that rise in price, this research suggests that Democratic presidents are a better investment.