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There's an interesting system for predicting the presidential elections, developed in 1981, that has always been right. I'm curious how others would answer the 13 questions below [note: I'm copy/pasting the description from wikipedia, because there's no point in me typing out the same thing]:

The Keys to the White House is a 1996 book about a historically based prediction system for determining the outcome of presidential elections in the United States. The system, inspired by earthquake research,[1] was developed in 1981. by American historian Allan Lichtman and Russian scientist Vladimir Keilis-Borok, an authority on the mathematics of prediction models. The model has a record of accurate forecasts but has been criticised by some statisticians as including too many predictors to be a sound model and for forecasting only the winner of elections rather than the vote share of the winning party [note: it's been criticized for not taking any chances?].

The Keys are statements that favor the re-election of the incumbent party. When five or fewer statements are false, the incumbent party is predicted to win; when six or more are false, the challenging party is predicted to win.

  1. Party Mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than after the previous midterm elections. (F)
  2. Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination. (F)
  3. Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president. (F)
  4. Third party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign. (T)
  5. Short term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. (T)
  6. Long term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. (F)
  7. Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. (T)
  8. Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term. (F)
  9. Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. (?)
  10. Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. (F)
  11. Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. (F)
  12. Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. (F)
  13. Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. (?)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Keys_to_the_White_House#The_13_Keys_to_The_White_House

 

The answers in parentheses, at the end, are MINE, not Lichtman's. (F) means false, (T) means true. By to my count, the Repubs should've won this election (eight false, three true).

Of course, this model is based on a long history of elections where the nominee is an established political figure, is a long time member of the challenging party, and has the support of the vast majority of his party. So it doesn't apply this year. Lichtman himself seems to be aware of this, because, as far as I can tell at least, he hasn't made a prediction.

But it does show that, had the Republicans nominated a reputable Republican politician, that has the support of major donor networks and the Republican infrastructure, they would've almost certainly won.

P.S. I answered no. 8 false because of Black Lives Matter (mainly because of the cop shootings, not because BLM is significant in itself), and no. 10 false because of the rise of ISIS, the mess in Libya and Ukraine, and all the terrorist attacks.

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Interesting... I wonder if someone has a table with each election as a row, each factor as a column marked T/F. Maybe it's in the author's book. 

Looking at the last election, the two additional factors working against Romney would be #2 No dem contest and #3 Incumbent, but possibly others too.

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59 minutes ago, softwareNerd said:

Interesting... I wonder if someone has a table with each election as a row, each factor as a column marked T/F. Maybe it's in the author's book. 

Looking at the last election, the two additional factors working against Romney would be #2 No dem contest and #3 Incumbent, but possibly others too.

I only have the 2012 list. http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2012/10/03/never-wrong-pundit-sticks-by-obama-in-2012

Lichtman also counted #8, #10 and #11 true, in 2012, leaving only three points going against Obama. And I have to agree with that.

#8 because this was before the BLM mess Obama injected himself into. #10 and #11 because, while it's highly debatable whether Obama ACTUALLY had any foreign policy successes, the public's perception, back in 2012, was that he's been doing a decent job. Things only started really going South during his second term. Now, I doubt many people who aren't automatically voting Democrat would have a positive view of Obama's foreign policy.

Edited by Nicky

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Of the 13 factors, only one -- #13 Charisma of the Challenger -- has anything to do with the challenger. All the other factors have to do with the incumbent or the "environment"/recent history (which the voter links to the incumbent).

In general he's saying that the incumbent party will keep the presidency if the domestic and foreign-affairs are fine. 

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9 hours ago, softwareNerd said:

Of the 13 factors, only one -- #13 Charisma of the Challenger -- has anything to do with the challenger. All the other factors have to do with the incumbent or the "environment"/recent history (which the voter links to the incumbent).

In general he's saying that the incumbent party will keep the presidency if the domestic and foreign-affairs are fine. 

Yes, it's true that the politics and overall identity of the incumbent isn't factored in. But I don't think that is because they don't matter. I think it's because, through the years, those factors have been a constant: older, white, Christian male, moderately religious, with pretty much the same politics each time. Only thing that changed about the candidates was their personality...and even then, it was either a charismatic and polite fella, or an uncharismatic and polite fella.

If something never changes, there's no point in factoring it in....however, now it changed, and, in my opinion, broke the system. I don't think Hillary's gender is going to be an issue, but Trump's politics and attitude will.

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Allan Lichtman, inventor of the 13 Keys, has predicted a Trump victory, but he says it hinges on whether Gary Johnson gets 5℅ of the vote (the "Third Party" key). If Johnson gets 5℅, Trump wins. If not, Trump loses. Also, Trump being an unprecedented, political maelstrom could upset the system. (But the same might be said for Hillary.)

I guess this is another reason not to vote for Johnson, if you're never-Trump. Your one vote for Johnson might get him to 5℅, and thus turn the Third Party key.

Transcript of recent Lichtman interview.

Edited by MisterSwig
Added link to interview.

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