My casual observation of American politics suggests that national political mood follows a four-year cycle that syncs with the presidential electoral cycle.  Here’s how I see the cycle running:

Election Year: Strident
Inauguration Year: Hopeful
Second Year: Disappointed
Third Year: Bored

and then back to…

Election Year: Strident


1. Does my casual empirical match yours?

2. What are some plausible empirical tests of my political mood cycle theory?

3. Do other countries with four-year executive terms show the same pattern? 

4. What about countries that don’t have four-year executive terms?