Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Keys to the White House

Incorporating subjective elements as they do, the Keys to the White House are a less-than-perfect election predictor, but they're certainly less imperfect than the Fake Polls by the Fake News:

Professor Alan Lichtman correctly predicted a Trump victory in 2016 using a model he developed in collaboration with a Soviet scientist who specialized in predicting earthquakes. The model is a true-or-false test on a list of 13 keys about the incumbent administration and the challenger. If five or fewer of the keys are false, the incumbent party wins.

The keys include factors like whether “after the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than it did after the previous midterm elections.” For the 2020 election, this key is false, since Democrats gained seats in the House in November 2018. In 2020, Lichtman is predicting that Biden will win, but the prediction appears to be victim to a subjective judgment on two of the keys.

On key number 11, Lichtman rules that Trump has achieved no “major success in foreign or military affairs.” The assessment does not explain why the eradication of the ISIS caliphate and the withdrawal of troops from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq cannot be counted as major military successes. Lichtman likewise doesn’t explain why he discounted the Trump administration brokering the signing of the Abraham accords, arguably the biggest breakthrough toward peace in the Middle East in decades.

And on key number 12, Lichtman rules that Trump is not “charismatic or a national hero,” an assessment which would be hard to defend before the Republican party, where his approval has steadily held in the mid- to high- 80s.

With the charisma and foreign affairs keys flipped for Trump, the model would swing in favor of the president’s reelection.

As those who watched Darkstream 655 will know, I think Lichtman has coded five keys incorrectly

  • The economy is not in recession during the electoral campaign. While successive negative GDP quarters indicate a technical recession, Q3 is going to set a record for the fastest annualized growth rate in post-WWII history.
  • Prior to the Covid-19 shutdown, the Trump economy recorded higher average growth rates than the previous two terms of the Obama administration. So, again, it's a question of whether you blindly apply the model or take the current situation into context. No one is blaming Trump for the shutdown or the subsequent consequences, to the contrary, he's been criticized for trying to keep the economy open.
  • The Trump administration has not been tainted by any scandals. Russia-Russia-Russia was an invention of his political opponents. Impeachment was so obviously political and irrelevant that Biden hasn't even seen fit to mention it in his attack ads. The only scandal is the DC Swamp's relentless campaign against him.
  • Trump has enjoyed historic foreign policy success since Reagan. To claim that he has not had "a major foreign policy or military success" is crazy. He's also kept the US out of war with China, Russia, Iran, and Syria, despite the best efforts of the neocons.
  • Again, to claim Trump is not charismatic is insane. The fact that he might not personally appeal to Alan Lichtman is not the point, because Trump is obviously in the Reagan/Clinton mode of a charismatic leader.
I count two false keys, perhaps four if you insist on being technical on the economy. Either way, the Keys point to a win for the incumbent party and the incumbent President.

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Blogger Bobo #117 October 14, 2020 8:28 AM  

Sounds Episcopalian...

Blogger FisherOfMen October 14, 2020 8:29 AM  

Vox, I appreciate all the upbeat, but nagging at the back of my mind: How do you take fraud into account? I think this election is not about any kind of ideals or platforms, but it's purely Big Orange Energy vs Well Organized Fraud.

I do think the God Emperor has nailed down some of the fraud, but I also think the whole mail-in voting thing is their attempt to shore things up with new fraud pathways.

Got any upbeat rebuttals to this to reduce all the nail biting?

Blogger FredFarkle October 14, 2020 8:31 AM  

Trunk gonna lose! Stink bitch Kamalapan will rule!

Blogger rikjames.313 October 14, 2020 8:37 AM  

Hopefully the rest of the country is different. In metro Detroit the TV ads are 3/1 for Biden. Every newscast, local and national, is full of Trump is evil, Trump is stupid, Trump is using the White House to sell hotel rooms. Biden is wonderful.

They literally play Biden TV ads as 'news' for free while the anchors take a respectful pose, like what I imagine North Korean TV is like when Dear Leader's picture is on.

The 'Trump was going to kidnap the Saintly Governor Whitmer' story is still wall to wall. They stop regular TV for her press conferences, which are two minutes of covid and 28 of Trump is evil and stupid.

They literally fly plane banners around telling blacks to fill out the mail in ballot and give it to their pastors.

Our governor issued an emergency order to allow early and late counting, even though her orders were ruled unconstitutional, the courts are enforcing them for safety.

Blogger Canadian Warlord October 14, 2020 8:38 AM  

"no “major success in foreign or military affairs.” "
Donald Trump decreased the number of wars. Both his predecessors added greatly to that dubious high score. To say nothing of North Korea and China in general, and the policies surrounding. So to speak.

Blogger furor kek tonicus ( irregularly and inconsistently appended Sarc tag ) October 14, 2020 8:40 AM  

"he developed in collaboration with a Soviet scientist"

i thought Trump was colluding with the Russians?

Blogger JC October 14, 2020 8:49 AM  

How could he possibly conclude Trump isn't charismatic? Only president I would describe as lacking in charisma in my lifetime would be GHWB. His son had a folksy sort of charm that many people liked. It may have been fake but it was there. I don't get these people that can't see strengths in a person because they don't like them. I intensely dislike both Clinton and Obama but I'd never pretend they lacked charisma because I can see through it.

Blogger Brett baker October 14, 2020 8:53 AM  

"Trump wants to keep the economy open, which is causing it to crash" is the argument PedoJoe is using. It appears to work among people who were never going to vote for the GE anyway.

Blogger Balkan Yankee October 14, 2020 9:01 AM  

There's too much subjectivity in Lichtman's indicators. I'm sticking with the Norpoth's "primary" model, which gives Trump a 91 percent chance of victory in 2020.

Norpoth's model focuses on actual elections, which is what primaries are, not opinion polls.

In February 2012, Norpoth predicted Obama's win.

In March 2016, Norpoth predicted Trump's win.

In March 2, 2020, Norpoth predicted a Trump victory: 91 percent chance. 362 electoral votes.

At the time, Norpoth stated his prediction was "unconditional and final." He has not revised it since.

Personally, everything I see outside the media-driven polls indicates a Trump victory. Norpoth is just icing on the prediction cake.

Blogger Balkan Yankee October 14, 2020 9:14 AM  

@4: As Detroit goes, so goes Botswana.

Look, it's not like the Democrats just started demonizing Trump, they have been hard at it for four years. Diminishing returns, anyone?

Biden has big problems that the media-driven polls have brilliantly obscured. His appeal to core Democrat constituencies - Blacks and Hispanics - is far weaker than it was for Hillary four years ago.

And overspending on TV ads is no substitute for his campaign's abject failure to invest in a robust GOTV “ground game," like the Trump campaign has done (which is ironically a GOTV scheme modeled on Obama's 2012 effort, which saved Obama's sorry ass).

Lord knows Biden has the money, but Biden would rather spend it on a desperate last minute campaign to saturate the airwaves in an area of the country that he should have locked down months ago!

Blogger tuberman October 14, 2020 9:18 AM  

One of the things the DNC has gotten through is that "Ballot Harvesting" is legal in several states now. So, according to Brian Cates the GOP this time around is engaging in at least the "legal" aspects of said "Harvesting." Those million visits per week of Trump's ground game was more than getting accurate polling. This won't likely turn CA red, but it will turn back many congress seats in California.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan October 14, 2020 9:26 AM  

Would not even be a close election if we had Social Game. But we don't and the literal mean girls can accuse us of anything and everyone joins in and then our women betray us to varying degrees. Even super woman ACB is now apologizing for some remark about sexual preference.

We need Social Game and we need it bad, our lives depend on it.

Blogger Seeingsights October 14, 2020 9:35 AM  

Also, Lichtman counts social unrest as going against the incumbent party.

That theory made sense for 1968.

But the social unrest we have this year is not due to Trump. The unrest is happening in Dem areas of the country. The social unrest has hurt the Dems, not Trump.

I have a left wing co worker who says that the riots are throwing thousands of voters in swing states to Trump.

Blogger Seeingsights October 14, 2020 9:53 AM  

Instead of charisma it may be better to see who had the more enthusiastic voters.

In 1980 Reagan had it.
In 1992 the enthusiastic voter went to Bill Clinton. Two reasons: chance for Dems to get back into the Presidency after 12 years, and voters let down by Bush I for breaking his no new taxes pledge.
In 2000, Bush II has the enthusiasm edge: chance for Republicans to get back in after 8 years out of office
In 2008 Obama had the enthusiasm edge: the chance to make history with the first black President.
In 2016, Trump had enthusiastic edge. His historical vote totals in Republican primaries.

Blogger Damelon Brinn October 14, 2020 9:58 AM  

If he's smart enough to make up that list of points, he's smart enough to know he's getting those two wrong. Those go beyond subjectivity. Even if he subjectively thinks Trump has no charisma, he can look at his rallies, or his entire career, and see that he clearly does to most people.

Blogger Thad Tuiol October 14, 2020 10:04 AM  

I pray to God you are all right in your predictions. I am besieged by TDS libs in the office who are already boasting of 400+ electoral college votes for Biden and the Senate being flipped. They're insufferable to be around now, but if this actually comes to pass I may be resigning on Nov. 4th

Blogger Damelon Brinn October 14, 2020 10:05 AM  

Personally, everything I see outside the media-driven polls indicates a Trump victory.

If polls were illegal, everyone would look around at the rallies, parades, riots, masks, jobs, illegals, and celebrity chimpouts, and assume Trump is leading 80-20. And he probably would be.

Blogger Jeroth October 14, 2020 10:19 AM  

Mr.MantraMan wrote:Even super woman ACB is now apologizing for some remark about sexual preference.

Her response to the George Floyd question was absolutely ridiculous as well. A public submission to their new religion. But it's still one less Jew on the Supreme Court, so I'm not going to worry about perfection now. It does demonstrate that it's going to take war before these conservative attitudes are fundamentally changed, though. No level of "game" is going to turn her foreign children into Americans.

Blogger Stilicho October 14, 2020 10:36 AM  

Yep,seeingsights, the social unrest is actually a strong driver of moderate support for Trump this year. It doesn't appeal to anyone but those who were already anti-Trump no matter what.

Blogger Stilicho October 14, 2020 10:38 AM  

Ask yourself why Biden is spending so much money and effort on Detroit... I.e. he is desperate to drive up African turnout because his internal polls tell him he will lose MI

Blogger Stilicho October 14, 2020 10:41 AM  

The fraud will not be sufficient to defeat Trump. Its main focus will be downstream races, especially for Congress, but also for local elections where a few hundred fake votes can make the difference (see, e.g. Soros DA's).

Blogger Rick October 14, 2020 10:55 AM  

VD - is it possible to quantify the potential affect for Dem fraud (and their latest variety: mass mail of ballots)? Similar to how you analyzed (and extinguished) the TENS through a mathematical calculations lens. The Dems don't/won't have unlimited resources for fraud and so it would need to be best applied in targeted areas (where they could get away with it easiest and where votes would be closer). Balance that against what steps Team Trump would be doing to render it unsuccessful. Is it a wash? I'm not great this type of multidisciplinary calculation, but I have a pretty good sense for them in my gut, which I guess is sort of like comparing magnitudes. Anyway, have you run any numbers re fraud? I haven't heard you mention that factor.

Blogger GregMan October 14, 2020 11:16 AM  

So (((Lichtman))) is biased against the GE? Who knew?

Blogger ZhukovG October 14, 2020 11:36 AM  

As I have said, I believe if the Democrats actually thought they could win, even via cheating, Sen. Mark Warner would be their candidate.

I suspect, knowing this election is lost to them, they will try to sow as much chaos as possible for the next four years. Then, in 2024, Sen. Warner can play 'Man on the White Horse', with a centrist, pro-law and order, pro-business and very Globalist platform.

They will still fail, of course, because Nationalism will ultimately triumph.

Ad Victoriam, Deo Vindice, Ave Caesar Trump!

Blogger Allen October 14, 2020 11:38 AM  

It's all about turnout. This year's election is promising to have a very high voter turnout. Once people have to make their decision it's now binary, not an opinion sought with clever rhetoric added to induce a response. If history tells us anything it's that no one has ever chosen Joe Biden over someone else in large numbers as their preferred Presidential candidate when the choice becomes finite.

Blogger Damelon Brinn October 14, 2020 12:12 PM  

Just saw an interesting graphic. Someone went state-by-state on Google Trends comparing searches for "CNN" and "Fox News" since 2016. It's gradually shifted to a majority for Fox News, and several states flipped in the last few months, especially states like Illinois and Oregon that had a lot of rioting. As of September it's about 40-10.

Fox News is crap, of course. But it's a likely first place for a liberal/moderate who no longer trusts the narrative to go looking.

Blogger Argus Bacchus October 14, 2020 12:23 PM  

A guy named Lichtman might not be the best arbiter of who is or is not lacking in charisma.

Just a possibility.

Blogger Ominous Cowherd October 14, 2020 12:26 PM  

rikjames.313 wrote:In metro Detroit the TV ads are 3/1 for Biden.
Stilicho nailed it. They think Detroit is in play. Biden could lose Detroit!

Blogger Ominous Cowherd October 14, 2020 12:33 PM  

Rick wrote:... is it possible to quantify the potential affect for Dem fraud (and their latest variety: mass mail of ballots)?
What data would be indicative of potential for fraud? Do you have access to that data?
ZhukovG wrote:I suspect, knowing this election is lost to them, they will try to sow as much chaos as possible for the next four years. Then, in 2024, Sen. Warner can play 'Man on the White Horse', with a centrist, pro-law and order, pro-business and very Globalist platform.
If Trump quietly rolls up the networks that are financing the rioters, if most of the antifa officers quietly wind up in federal pens, if a few high profile members of previous administrations are hung for treason, it will be three generations before the Dem party can try that.

That's a lot of ifs, but we're seeing Trump's forces quietly doing some of that, and we're seeing some very plain allegations of treason against past administrations.

Blogger Daniel October 14, 2020 12:37 PM  

Argentinian here: do not underestimate fraud.

Blogger Daniel October 14, 2020 12:38 PM  

Speciallyvif done for first time in big scale

Blogger James Dixon October 14, 2020 12:47 PM  

> Hopefully the rest of the country is different. In metro Detroit the TV ads are 3/1 for Biden.

Now ask yourself why Biden is spending so much on campaign ads in an area he should be taking over 90% of the vote.

Blogger ZhukovG October 14, 2020 2:11 PM  

@Ominous Cowherd: I agree with you. I do not think they can control their Golem and it will be their undoing.

Blogger Barbarossa October 14, 2020 2:22 PM  

As featured on Outkick Sports earlier today, Nancy Pelosi actually accused Wolf Blitzer of being a Republican apologist! Does that sound like a group that is confident of winning in a month, that believes Creepy Joe is actually up a dozen points in the polls? Wolf Blitzer telling the Speaker to take the stimulus deal tells you that he and his ilk know the Dem hand is weak. Pelosi's hardline suggests a desperation that this might be her last chance to get anything past TGE.

Blogger Pathfinderlight October 14, 2020 2:36 PM  

America has a long history of voter fraud that people from European countries seem not to understand. They talk about the concept of "one person, one vote" as if that means something when fake votes pour in by the hundreds of thousands.

It's clear to anyone paying attention that the current push to abolish the electoral college is an outright attempt to nationalize voter fraud results, allowing fraud in a few corrupt cities to swing national elections.

Blogger bramley says "Enoch was right" October 14, 2020 3:40 PM  

Trump is definitely a hero.
On the day after the announcement that he had contracted coronavirus, i heard a report from DC on the radio and it was difficult to make out what the reporter was saying over the din of car horns beeping in support of Trump.
Did anyone see that being mentioned by MSM? Doubt it.
He will win.

Blogger Jack Amok October 14, 2020 4:18 PM  

One thing about predictors like this, they're all predicated on gradually shifting ideological divides within an ethnic majority. They don't account for Lee Kuan Yew's observation that a multi-ethnic society doesn't vote on ideology.

Whatever "keys" might have been useful in Bush-v-Gore are 20 years out of date on multiculturalism. That's really evident with the "social unrest" key that seeingsights mentioned. With an ethnic majority in charge, social unrest means the people in charge are screwing up and we should consider replacing them. With multiculturalism, social unrest means we better band together for protection from barbarians from the other tribes.

Blogger MrNiceguy October 14, 2020 10:23 PM  

I've seen reports that a lot of the people that would normally serve as Biden's ground game are not wanting to go out and knock doors out of 'Ronaphobia.

Makes sense. The presstitutes have been wall-to-wall "Covid's coming for us all!" and only Biden voters still trust them.

Blogger stevo October 15, 2020 9:43 AM  

So you're saying Lichtman colluded with a Russian?

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