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  1. 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. 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) Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination. (F) Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president. (F) Third party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign. (T) Short term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. (T) Long term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. (F) Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. (T) Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term. (F) Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. (?) Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. (F) Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. (F) Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. (F) 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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