Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Professor's 13 keys predict Obama will get re-elected

From Andrea Stone on AOL News on July 12:
WASHINGTON (July 12) -- Never mind that President Barack Obama's job approval ratings can't break the 50 percent mark. Or that the tea party movement owes its very existence to a rising tide of anti-Obama fervor. Or even that the next presidential election is 28 months away.

Obama, says a previously prescient professor, already holds the keys to another four years in the White House.

American University history professor Allan Lichtman said Monday that according to his "13 Keys" formula, which predicts popular vote based on party performance instead of polls or campaign tactics, Obama is headed for a second term.

While former Republican House speaker and possible presidential contender Newt Gingrich has predicted that Obama has just a 20 percent chance of winning in 2012, Lichtman said that "nothing that a candidate has said or done during a campaign, when the public discounts everything as political, has changed his prospects at the polls. Debates, advertising, television appearances, news coverage and campaign strategies -- the usual grist for the punditry mills -- count for virtually nothing on Election Day."

In an interview with AOL News, Lichtman said he devised his formula after studying election outcomes from 1860 to 1980 and has correctly predicted the outcomes of the last seven presidential contests. "No other system has come close to that record," he said.

"Politicians hate the keys because you can't manipulate them," Lichtman said. "It's not campaigning that counts. It's governing that count

Using the formula he laid out in his book, "Keys to the White House," Lichtman bases his prediction on 13 conditions, or keys. When five or fewer are false, the incumbent party candidate wins. When six or more are false, the other party candidate wins.

Lichtman considers passage of health care reform a positive key for Democrats, one of nine he said that favor the incumbent party and its president. He said Obama has four keys turned against him, two short of the "fatal six negative keys" that would doom a second term. In his rating, he assumes Democrats will lose seats in Congress this fall, the economy will remain sluggish and there will be no cataclysmic setbacks in Afghanistan.

Here's how Lichtman breaks down the keys to Obama's political future:


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