The doggie debates have begun again. Forget about strapping a dog to the roof of your car—even having a canine companion could be a political hazard in a tough economy, a study suggests. "In times of war or scandal, dogs are welcome public companions, but not so in periods of economic hardship," says the George Washington University study.
"Their frolicking on the White House lawn in hard times might cue the public that not everyone in the country is suffering equally and that being president is not a full-time job," it continues. The study used a "systematic analysis of voting behavior" as well as personal stories, authors said, according to Politico. "Every now and then, we like to take our methodological skills and apply them to seemingly goofy, but still interesting, political questions," explained one, adding that the "data and conclusions are real."