At FEMA, Disasters and Politics Go Hand in Hand
The tendency to declare more disasters during election years is not limited to floods. President Bill Clinton set a record by declaring 73 major disasters in 35 states and the District of Columbia in 1996, the year he was up for re-election.
When George W. Bush faced re-election in 2004, he declared 61 major disasters in 36 states - 10 more than in 2003 and tied for the second highest number of major disaster declarations ever, according to data provided by FEMA.
The increase from 2003 to 2004 was particularly sharp in the 12 battleground states in which the election was decided by 5 percent or less; these states had 17 major disasters declared in 2004 but only 8 in 2003, and, therefore, accounted for 90 percent of the increase.
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