The Keys to the White House by Allan Lichtman and Vladimir Keilis-Borok is a simple mathematical model that predicts who win a Presidential election. This model predicts who will win months or even years before an election. Let’s look at why Obama will win one year from now.
- 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. (FALSE – Democrats when from 203 to 193)
- Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination. (TRUE)
- Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president. (TRUE)
- Third party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign. (TRUE)
- Short term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. (FALSE)
- Long term economy: Real per capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. (FALSE)
- Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. (TRUE)
- Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term. (TRUE)
- Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. (TRUE)
- Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. (TRUE)
- Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. (FALSE, unless you count Osama Bin Laden’s death)
- Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. (TRUE)
- Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. (TRUE, assuming that Romney or any of the GOP front runners runs against Obama)
There are four “Falses.” When five or fewer statements are false, the incumbent party wins. When six or more are false, the challenging party wins. It looks like no matter who the Republicans nominate (see #13), five or fewer statements will be false. If the Republications nominate a war general or someone truly charismatic (say, Sarah Palin) and there is a viable third party candidate (like Ross Perot, not Ralph Nader), then perhaps Obama can be defeated.
Some would claim that Obama has lost his charismatic charm that won us over in 2004 (and again in 2008). If that is the case, then the Republicans would still need to nominate a war general or someone truly charismatic. None of the Republican frontrunners fit the bill.
Other blog posts on Presidential elections: