Mathematician with a perfect record predicting elections says Obama is a lock

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AK Forty Seven, Sep 3, 2011.


    The science of predicting elections: Is Obama a sure thing in 2012?
    The Week – Fri, Sep 2, 2011

    The president's poll numbers are tanking, but a mathematician with a perfect track record predicting presidential elections says Obama is still a lock

    A teetering economy, high unemployment, low approval ratings: "For President Obama, the news just never seems to get any better," says Alex Parker at U.S. News. By most normal metrics, his "road to re-election may be impossibly steep." But history is actually on Obama's side, says Josh Voorhees at Slate. And "by 'history,' we mean Allan Lichtman," an American University professor who has predicted the winner in all seven presidential elections since 1984 — and whose formula also correctly IDs the winner of the 30 presidential elections before that. Lichtman's "13 Keys" predict elections by judging the recent performance of the party in the White House. (Sample questions: Did the opposition pick up congressional seats in the midterm? Is there a recession? Did the White House win any major foreign policy victories?) According to Lichtman's keys, Obama did well enough in his first term to win in 2012. How solid is this formula?

    Lichtman's record speaks for itself: When Lichtman says Obama's "re-election is in the bag," pay attention, say Paul Bedard and Lauren Fox at U.S. News. His 13 Keys are eerily predictive, picking the winner years before elections and often against conventional wisdom. If the president picks up eight or more keys, he wins. By Lichtman's count, Obama has nine, with one up in the air. Happy belated birthday, Mr. President.

    Never-Wrong Pundit Picks Obama to Win in 2012

    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.

    Lichtman’s prediction helps to explain a quirk in some polling that finds that while Americans disapprove of the president, they still think he will win re-election. [Check out political cartoons about the 2012 GOP field.]

    Working for the president are several of Lichtman’s keys, tops among them incumbency and the scandal-free nature of his administration.Undermining his re-election is a lack of charisma and leadership on key issues, says Lichtman, even including healthcare, Obama’s crowning achievement.

    Lichtman developed his 13 Keys in 1981. They test the performance of the party that holds the presidency. If six or more of the 13 keys go against the party in power, then the opposing party wins.“The keys have figured into popular politics a bit,” Lichtman says. “They’ve never missed. They’ve been right seven elections in a row. A number that goes way beyond statistical significance in a record no other system even comes close to.”

    Lichtman’s earned quite the reputation. In 1992, it seemed likely former President George H.W. Bush would be re-elected, having reached historic highs in popularity after he launched a war that pushed Iraqi troops out of Kuwait. But Lichtman thought otherwise and that factored into former Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton’s decision to challenge Bush.“I got a call from this woman with a thick southern drawl. It was Clinton’s special assistant. She wanted to know if it was true that a Democrat could win. I assured her it was and I sent Clinton a copy of my book and a memo and the rest is history.” [See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.]

    In 2005, Lichtman also hit a home run when he said that the political stage was looking so bad for Republicans that Democrats could pick a name out of the phone book and win in 2008, the year a little known first-term senator became the first African-American to win the presidency.

    Now Lichtman’s predicting a repeat performance by Obama.
  3. Lucrum


    You must be heart broken, what with you supporting Ron Paul and all.
  4. It's pretty impressive that there's an algorithm which can predict the winner without even knowing who the competitor is...

  5. I'll take the other side of that bet with that loser mathematician. He's just been lucky. But his luck is about to run out.

  6. I'm devastated
  7. wildchild


    Wait a minute. How can this be? I thought Bush "stole" the 2000 election. How did his method predict that Bush was going to steal the election? Absolutely amazing.

  8. . :D . Now you went and broke his heart.
  9. Looking at the charts of voter turnout and its cyclical nature I might lay off a wager on an Obama win albeit a narrow one.
  10. wildchild


    I don't know if you can put it on voter turnout alone. It will really depend on how many dead people vote. If voter turn out for dead people is good, then Obama will win.
    #10     Sep 4, 2011