Allan Lichtman, the American University professor whose election formula has correctly called every president since Ronald Reagan’s 1984 re-election, has a belated birthday present for Barack Obama: Rest easy, your re-election is in the bag.
“Even if I am being conservative, I don’t see how Obama can lose,” says Lichtman, the brains behind The Keys to the White House.
Below are each of the keys and how it falls for Obama.
Party mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than it did after the previous midterm elections. Says Lichtman, “Even back in January 2010 when I first released my predictions, I was already counting on a significant loss.” Obama loses this key.
Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination. Says Lichtman on Obama’s unchallenged status, “I never thought there would be any serious contest against Barack Obama in the Democratic primary.” Obama wins this key.
Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president. Easy win here for Obama.
Third Party: There is no significant third party challenge. Obama wins this point.
Short term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. Here Lichtman declares an “undecided.”
Long-term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. Says Lichtman, “I discounted long term economy against Obama. Clearly we are in a recession.” Obama loses this key. [Read: Seven Ways Obama Can Gain Credibility on Jobs.]
Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. “There have been major policy changes in this administration. We’ve seen the biggest stimulus in history and an complete overhaul of the healthcare system so I gave him policy change,” says the scholar. Another win for Obama.
Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term. Says Lichtman, “There wasn’t any social unrest when I made my predictions for 2012 and there still isn’t.” Obama wins a fifth key here.
Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. “This administration has been squeaky clean. There’s nothing on scandal,” says Lichtman. Another Obama win.
Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. Says Lichtman, “We haven’t seen any major failure that resembles something like the Bay of Pigs and don’t foresee anything.” Obama wins again.
Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. “Since Osama bin Laden was found and killed, I think Obama has achieved military success.” Obama wins his eighth key.
Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. Explains Lichtman, “I did not give President Obama the incumbent charisma key. I counted it against him. He’s really led from behind. He didn’t really take the lead in the healthcare debate, he didn’t use his speaking ability to move the American people during the recession. He’s lost his ability to connect since the 2008 election.” Obama loses this key. [See political cartoons about President Obama.]
Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. Says Lichtman, “We haven’t seen any candidate in the GOP who meets this criteria and probably won’t.” Obama wins, bringing his total to nine keys, three more than needed to win reelection.
It does not take an expert to predict Obama will win. Everybody knows.
Always loved this guy. The fact that an Ann Coulter can be invited on to vomit all over my television screen, but this man isn't invited on is just disgusting.
His system seems very imprecise and unscientific. I'm far more trusting of statistics people like Nate Silver at fivethirtyeight. And, of course, R2 is right. Everyone is predicting that Obama will win.
Anyone who is paying attention could have predicted the winner for the past 40 years, except for 200, when the election was stolen.
Has Jeanne Dixon made her Presidential prediction yet?
I'd like someone to ask the GOP: If Obama has been a disaster, why can't the GOP come up with a viable candidate that can beat this disaster?
The GOP can't come up with an answer r7.
Most of the races since 1980 could have been picked by an 8 yr old. This is different. The economy is bad and getting worse for most people. The middle east is a mess and hates the US more than ever. Obama has had four years and thinks he deserves four more of the same. Not everyone in the country will vote for Obama because he is for gay marriage ( although it's safe because it will be decided by states and not the President). Also in most polls Romney is within the margin of error. So don't have your caftans cleaned and pressed for the election night celebration just yet...
Why do you hate America, R7?
Just want to point out this article is from a year ago (although I guess most of his "keys" would be the same today, so his prediction probably still stands).
LOL, r6. I haven't heard Jeane's predictions for the election yet, but thanks to her I do know that this is the year when both Jackie O. and Lady Di will remarry!
Your breasts are on the verge of explosion, R9.
Voter suppression laws passed by GOP will have an affect on this election. Don't assume Obama has won, get out and vote.
R9, Romney supports a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality. This isn't just a presidential election. Vote for senator and representatives who support people's rights.
Don't fret R14, you can be sure R9 supports a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality as well.
R14 supporting doesn't mean law. A child should know that. If that's the case, abortion would have become illegal in 1980.
Public attitudes toward candidates and elections often start off in a fluid state. Then they gradually begin to jell, first reaching a semisolid state before hardening to rock-solid. This year’s presidential race isn’t over, but Mitt Romney’s current trajectory in the polls will not cross President Obama’s by Nov. 6—or maybe even Nov. 6 of next year. If something doesn’t happen to shake up the race, Romney will lose.
Romney’s negatives, particularly in swing states, have grown to the point that if allowed to solidify, his opportunity to recover will vanish. The GOP nominee still has a chance to change the trajectory of the campaign, but the longer he takes, the smaller the payoff. Very few undecided voters are left in swing states; campaign pollsters say that maybe 4 or 5 percent of likely voters fit in this category. And no one would be surprised if some of the remaining undecided voters, after being subjected to saturation advertising for months—in some cases since June—throw up their hands and opt to stay home on Election Day.
If the presidential race stays on its current course for another week or 10 days, Romney faces the very real prospect that Republican donors, super PACs, and other parts of the GOP support structure will begin to shift resources away from helping him and toward a last-ditch effort to win a Senate majority—which once seemed very likely—and to protect the party’s House majority.
A year and a half ago, it looked like Republicans had a 65 to 70 percent chance of capturing the Senate. The 23 Democratic seats up for grabs, compared with just 10 for Republicans, offered the GOP many opportunities for gains, particularly in states that Democrats had captured from Republicans in 2006. Jennifer Duffy, senior Senate editor of The Cook Political Report, now argues that the range of possible Senate outcomes goes from Republicans picking up two or three seats to actually losing a seat or two.
For the most part, the deterioration of the Senate outlook is unrelated to Romney’s problems at the top of the ticket, and it comes despite a strong effort by the National Republican Senatorial Committee. But there’s no denying that things are not looking so good for the red team in the Senate. Arguably, Republicans now have a chance against only one of the four most vulnerable Democratic Senate incumbents, with GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg now running even with Jon Tester in Montana. Republican prospects to unseat Democrats Claire McCaskill in Missouri, Bill Nelson in Florida, and Sherrod Brown in Ohio are remote, at best. Top-tier recruits in open seats in Hawaii and New Mexico have not caught on despite strong campaign efforts, further undercutting GOP chances of securing a Senate majority. Two moderate Democrats running for open Senate seats in very Republican states are doing unexpectedly well: Democratic former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp is locked in a tight race in North Dakota with GOP Rep. Rick Berg, while Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly is in an equally close contest with Republican state Treasurer Richard Mourdock in Indiana. Republicans were heavily favored to win both seats early on; now both races are very tight.
Duffy points to the last time this class of Senate seats was up, in 2006: Then, three Senate seats and control of the chamber were settled by 60,665 votes spread among three states, Missouri, Montana, and Virginia. Of the 10 Senate races that The Cook Political Report rates as toss-ups, six are now in Democratic hands and four are in GOP hands. The range of possible outcomes is very wide.
In the House, we have not yet seen any signs of deterioration for the GOP majority. Even if Democrats were to win every seat currently rated solid Democratic, likely Democratic, or lean Democratic, as well as every toss-up, they would still come up short of a majority. The canaries in the coal mine are GOP seats currently rated as lean Republican or likely Republican. Cook Political Report House Editor David Wasserman points out that with Democrats likely to lose perhaps 10 of their own seats, they would have to gross 35 seats to hit the 25 net seats necessary to win a majority. That’s a very tall order.
House Republican strategists have been preaching the “balance message” to their candidates: If the top of the ticket starts to go south on them, then Republicans need to argue that the party must keep the House in GOP hands to have a firm check in place to balance against a second-term President Obama.
The next week or 10 days are thus critical for Romney and the GOP. If things don’t turn around, a stampede could ensue reminiscent of 1996, when Republicans realized that Bob Dole was not going to defeat President Clinton. History could repeat itself.
This article appeared in the Saturday, September 29, 2012 edition of National Journal.
A closer look at Romney now will horrify the undecided independents and swing things decisively back to Obama. The woman-hating, labor-hating, minority-hating, gay-hating, progress-hating, science-hating Republican platform, led by this untrustworthy demagogue, naturally will nauseate the fools who still feel like they haven't examined things enough.
Jeane Dixon is predicting an unexpected Stassen come-from-behind surprise, though.
My Knerves are shot.
[quote]I'd like someone to ask the GOP: If Obama has been a disaster, why can't the GOP come up with a viable candidate that can beat this disaster?
Better not tell you now.