Allan Lichtman picks Obama to win in 2012. P.S. He's never wrong.


If a Republican wins the presidential election, then this country's voters have a collective death wish. I wish I meant that figuratively, but if the GOP has its way, we can say good-bye to Social Security and Medicare as we know it, and that would literally crush seniors and the poorest among us. And don't get me started on privatization in general, foreign policy, health care, tax cuts, ad nauseam...

Not that President Obama wouldn't alter programs in some way, too, as in being open to raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67, among other things, but if a Republican wins, and the House and/or the Senate end up in GOP hands, that's a worrisome toxic combination.

We need a Democratic president's veto power at the very least. With a loony President "God Told Me To Do It" Perry as chief executive, for example-- well, I don't even want to think about what would happen. Via Washington Whispers:

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 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.”

Now we have to get out the vote, or Lichtman's magic keys mean nothing.

  • PDW

    You can't tell Rethugs anything. They're in denial and in FULL melt down mode because a Black man is in their white

    Bravo Mr. Lichtman. You ROCK and you were RIGHT all along.

  • PDW

    Uh Standarsh79, you LOST and so did your Mormon boy Mittenz it with me. President Barack H. Obama. RE-ELECTED again

    Looks like YOU are the one whose a Big @ss

  • PDW

    UH sorry guys. YOU all were WRONG and Allen was


    332 VS 206


  • Standarsh79

    Oh, I'll be voting, but not for the  @ss clown currently in office. And the pathetic rhetoric you liberals use... End of Medicare, SS, a death blow to seniors and the poor?? Seriously? You do realize there is a Senate and House of Representatives still? And in order for anything to be signed by the president, it has to pass them first... You people give way to much credit and power to the presidency, he and his administration are but one of three branches of government. They aren't dictators, well, not yet. If the Democrats have it their way, Big Brother would no longer exist in fictional literature.

  • Clancy

    No, it's not a problem with his model, as I explained. Just because you wish to blur the lines between two (or more) clearly defined parameters of the model does not mean that the definitions of each is problematic. What it means is that you have difficulty with comprehension and/or application of said model. Other keys in the model already include the voter approval components of what you're rather narrowly defining as incumbency.

    My criticism is still valid: you don't care for Obama and thus willfully distorted or misread the scope of the incumbency key to fit your bias. Incumbency is but a single key of the model. For example, in the 1932 election cycle, Hoover had the incumbency key turn in his favor, but a majority of the remaining keys were against him. Thus, he lost to FDR.

    It's also important to note that the number of keys for or against is not indicative of the size of victory. One could have only 7 keys and win in a landslide. Another could have 12 and barely eek by. All it does is predict a winner, not margin of victory or mandate or anything else.

    You've obviously read my criticism of Lichtman's model. It's too bad you also have trouble with comprehension there as well. Again, you provide a classic example of why his model is problematic. It is difficult to argue with Lichtman's success in applying it, as it's well-documented. While one should wait until he revises his prediction closer to the election (he held the 2000 prediction until a few weeks before as the short-term economy key was difficult to assess), that Lichtman was confident enough to release his prediction this far out is an indication that Obama's chances are quite good.

  • Mitchell Freedman

    If "incumbency is an advantage no matter what else is taken into consideration," that's a problem with his predictor model.  I note you are in a separate comment concerned that a few other indicators could turn against Obama, which tells me the model is less predictive than Professor Lichtman is given credit for.    One man's predictive model is another man's "baggage", I suppose...:-)

  • Clancy

    Mr. Freedman,
    I suggest you actually attempt to understand Lichtman's model before you pull your own political baggage out of the blue and try to use his model to fit your preconceptions. For example, if the candidate running for the presidency is the current president, they turn the incumbency key. It has nothing to do with how anyone perceives of the quality of that incumbent's performance. In short, incumbency is an advantage no matter what else is taken into consideration.

    In fact, a credible primary challenge would turn another key against the Democratic nominee, regardless of who wins the nomination. Thus, using your logic, with another nominee, two additional keys would turn against the Democratic nominee if it wasn't Obama. Thus, even your ideal replacement Democrat would have five keys against them (the three Lichtman indicates, and the two I just mentioned). Under Lichtman's model, there's a distinct disadvantage to running a candidate against Obama in the primaries. . . and it only worsens if that candidate wins.

    As I pointed out earlier, people other than Lichtman have much difficulty applying his model. Mostly, this is because aspects of the underlying analysis are too dependent on Lichtman's subjective interpretation. It's definitely a problem for evaluating the model's predictive usefulness, but one cannot argue with the fact that Lichtman's track record with applying his model is flawless. Usually, the problem with his model has more to do with people, such as you, deciding to redefine or misuse the individual Keys to their own ends.

  • Mitchell Freedman

    I read Lichtman's list.  I see at least six going against Obama.  1, 2, 3 (incumbency is a negative when people see a drift and no positive change), 7, and 12 are five already.  Add one or two others and it's President Perry.  

    The reason we need a primary run against Obama is to save us from going over the cliff with Obama.  Who needs another 2004 with a weak candidate who stands for so little in terms of economic populism?  At this point, does anyone really believe Obama if he were to suddenly speak about a specific robust jobs program?  We'd be foolish to buy into that at this point.

    Face it.  He's Barack Hoover Obama.  And he needs to be pushed to curb with a primary challenge from a prominent Democrat who actually knows what the New Deal meant to this nation and why we need New Deal 2.o.

  • Clancy

    Technically, Lichtman's Key's are not dependent on voter turnout, thus it is truly unimportant to his model.

    While I'm not surprised that Lichtman would release his prediction this early in the cycle, I would (like GottaLaff) caution people not to rest on his predictive laurels for two reasons:
    1) Lichtman's model only predicts the winner of the popular vote, not the winner of the election. For example, he predicted that Gore would win in 2000. Technically, this is true. However, it doesn't make me feel any better about this particular prediction.
    2) Several of Lichtman's keys could yet turn against Obama. Numbers 9 & 10, Scandal and Military/Foreign Policy Failure, could turn against Obama in the intervening months before the election. Number 4, Third Party Candidate, could also turn against Obama. Along with the "undecided" in Lichtman's date set, number 5, Short-term Economy, potentially turning against Obama, that would be a losing election. Just saying.

    I know Allan Lichtman and have discussed the Keys with him many, many times. He will certainly revisit this much closer to the election and submit his "final" prediction. While I respect his model and his ability to pick presidential winners (if applied retroactively, the model also applies to every election in the modern Presidential election cycle--so, everything since 1896), it's important to note that as a predictive model, only Allan Lichtman has a 100% track record using it. The model is dependent on his interpretation of several factors, such as who is charismatic, and the definition of "success," "failure," and/or "scandal." When others, including the scholar who helped him develop the model, have attempted to use it, it hasn't had quite the success as it has with Lichtman.

    The important thing to take away from Lichtman's Keys is that he completely contradicts the nouveau cliche, "It's the economy, stupid!" While the economy is probably a great focal point for a candidate, especially when trying to sell himself and his policies, Lichtman has pretty much proven that voters consider many more things when casting their ballots. As a result, even if the economy is in the toilet, an incumbent like Obama can still win re-election.

  • "Now we have to get out the vote, or Lichtman’s magic keys mean nothing."  
    That's the problem with prognostication...scientifically based or otherwise.  It can give some false hope, leading, disastrously to people not showing up on election day.  We can't let that happen!!!!!