In 2004 and 2009, the incumbent central governments in India enjoyed a high level of voter satisfaction. Why then did incumbents lose elections in 2004, while winning them in 2009? The different electoral outcomes can be explained by a combination of satisfaction with a constituent's member of Parliament and the performance of the government at the state level, as well as satisfaction with the government at the national level. This analysis rejects the conventional argument of general satisfaction with the performance of the central government as being the determinant of electoral outcomes in national elections.

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