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The Lichtman Keys
#1
Key

1
Party Mandate
After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats inthe U.S. House of Representatives than it did after the previousmidterm elections.

2
Contest
There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination.

3
Incumbency
The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president.

4
Third party
There is no significant third party or independent campaign.

5
Short-term economy
The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.

6
Long-term economy
Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.

7
Policy change
The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy.

8
Social unrest
There is no sustained social unrest during the term.

9
Scandal
The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.

10
Foreign/military failure
The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs.

11
Foreign/military success
The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs.

12
Incumbent charisma
The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero.

13
Challenger charisma
The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#2
The Keys were published in 1984. He applied them retroactively before that. Let's see how he would have scored 1968.

True means the incumbent party is favored, false the challenging party. 6 false keys and the incumbent party loses.

Key

1 Party Mandate 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. FALSE. Republicans gained seats in 1966.

2 Contest There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. FALSE. RFK, McCarthy and McGovern challenged the eventual nominee Humphrey, and won most of the primary election contests.

3 Incumbency The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. FALSE, LBJ bowed out.

4 Third party There is no significant third party or independent campaign. FALSE, Wallace won 5 states.

5 Short-term economy The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. TRUE

6 Long-term economy Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. TRUE, the economy was booming under LBJ.

7 Policy change The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. TRUE: Medicare, Voting Rights Act and other Great Society programs passed.

8 Social unrest There is no sustained social unrest during the term. FALSE

9 Scandal The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. TRUE

10 Foreign/military failure The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. FALSE, the Vietnam debacle was the archetypal quagmire for all time.

11 Foreign/military success The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. FALSE, LBJ lost on both counts on foreign policy. His conference with Kosygin was not a major success I don't think.

12 Incumbent charisma The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. FALSE

13 Challenger charisma The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. TRUE

8 false keys; correct. The Democrats lost in spite of a booming economy and major accomplishments in domestic policy.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#3
A more difficult election to score might be 1976.

Key

1
Party Mandate
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. FALSE. 1974 was a big year for Democrats in the midterms.

2
Contest
There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. FALSE. Reagan challenged Ford and almost won.

3
Incumbency
The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. TRUE

4
Third party
There is no significant third party or independent campaign. Eugene McCarthy ran, but did not do well enough. TRUE

5
Short-term economy
The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. TRUE. The economy was recovering from the 1973-75 recession

6
Long-term economy
Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. FALSE. The economy was in recession during most of the incumbent's term.

7
Policy change
The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. FALSE. President Ford only accomplished vetoes.

8
Social unrest
There is no sustained social unrest during the term. TRUE

9
Scandal
The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. FALSE. Watergate forced out the president during the term, which was a taint on the incumbent administration, and his appointed successor pardoned him, an unpopular move.

10
Foreign/military failure
The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. FALSE. Vietnam defeated the USA and its client in 1975.

11
Foreign/military success
The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. TRUE. Middle East agreements.

12
Incumbent charisma
The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. FALSE

13
Challenger charisma
The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. This is tough. Carter was considered charismatic before he took office. I would give it a mild TRUE.

I COUNT 7 FALSE KEYS, which is correct; the incumbent Republican Party lost.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#4
Let's try another tough one, 1988. Incumbent nominee Bush defeated Dukakis.

Key

1
Party Mandate
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. FALSE. The Democrats gained seats in 1986.

2
Contest
There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. FALSE, Senator Dole challenged Vice President Bush

3
Incumbency
The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. FALSE

4
Third party
There is no significant third party or independent campaign. TRUE

5
Short-term economy
The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. TRUE

6
Long-term economy
Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. TRUE

7
Policy change
The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. There was tax reform, but I don't know if that was major enough. But if you count Reagan's first term, then it gets a TRUE. Reaganomics was established for 40 years (and counting).

8
Social unrest
There is no sustained social unrest during the term. TRUE

9
Scandal
The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. FALSE. Iran-Contra. Many cabinet resignations and many indictments and convictions.

10
Foreign/military failure
The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. TRUE

11
Foreign/military success
The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. TRUE. Agreements with the Soviet Union

12
Incumbent charisma
The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. FALSE

13
Challenger charisma
The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. TRUE

If I give the incumbent party Key 7, then that's only 5 False Keys, favoring the incumbent. That's a close call, but correct. Incumbent nominee Bush won.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#5
How about 1980. President Carter vs. Ronald Reagan

Key

1
Party Mandate
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. FALSE

2
Contest
There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. FALSE. Ted Kennedy

3
Incumbency
The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. TRUE

4
Third party
There is no significant third party or independent campaign. FALSE John Anderson

5
Short-term economy
The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. FALSE "Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?" Reagan asked. The people answered no.

6
Long-term economy
Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. Close, but TRUE I believe.

7
Policy change
The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. FALSE His energy policy was important, but not popular, and it did not shift our energy usage enough, and congress did not act on it sufficiently)

8
Social unrest
There is no sustained social unrest during the term. TRUE

9
Scandal
The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. TRUE

10
Foreign/military failure
The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. FALSE Iran crisis

11
Foreign/military success
The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. TRUE Camp David Accords

12
Incumbent charisma
The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. FALSE Malaise was not appealing

13
Challenger charisma
The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. FALSE Ronald Reagan was a great communicator

8 False Keys. Carter lost.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#6
2016 is a tough one. Lichtman technically got this one wrong, because historically the Keys are correct for the popular vote. But he got credit because he predicted Trump would win, and he did through the Electoral College. Let's see if I agree with him that the incumbent Democrats were going to lose.

Key

1
Party Mandate
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. FALSE. Republicans gained seats and won the senate in 2014.

2
Contest
There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. FALSE Bernie Sanders

3
Incumbency
The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. FALSE

4
Third party
There is no significant third party or independent campaign. Lichtman considered that Gary Johnson was a significant challenger, because at one point he had over 5% in the polls, plus there was Jill Stein. FALSE

5
Short-term economy
The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. TRUE

6
Long-term economy
Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. TRUE

7
Policy change
The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. TRUE, Obamacare, but only early in the administration's first term.

8
Social unrest
There is no sustained social unrest during the term. TRUE

9
Scandal
The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. TRUE

10
Foreign/military failure
The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. TRUE, although there were the mistakes in Syria and Benghazi.

11
Foreign/military success
The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. FALSE Although the Paris Agreement was important, it did not concern the security or standing of the United States directly.

12
Incumbent charisma
The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. FALSE

13
Challenger charisma
The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. TRUE, although he was certainly a skilled entertainer and had a loyal base. The fact remains that Hillary actually had a higher approval rating throughout the campaign.

That's a close call, but the incumbent party got 6 false keys, and 3 of the trues were shaky, and so Lichtman predicted that Hillary would lose and Trump would win.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#7
The Lichtman Keys for 2020 have been revealed. 7 have turned false; 6 needed for the incumbent to lose.....

Key

1
Party Mandate
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. FALSE.

2
Contest
There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. TRUE.

3
Incumbency
The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. TRUE.

4
Third party
There is no significant third party or independent campaign. TRUE.

5
Short-term economy
The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. FALSE. The economy shrank 33% in the second quarter, the biggest decline ever, and since the pandemic has already raged on for the first month of the 3rd and won't recede anytime soon, and brought on more economic closures, the 3Q looks very bad too.

6
Long-term economy
Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. FALSE. This above decline has reversed any hope of this Key holding for Trump.

7
Policy change
The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. TRUE. Although I disagree, Lichtman considers the tax reduction and executive orders reversing Obama policy to be major changes. The Obamacare mandate tax was repealed too.

8
Social unrest
There is no sustained social unrest during the term. FALSE. Lichtman now sees that the unrest over black lives matter/police brutality and the pandemic are sustained, and includes violence that threatens the social order. I mentioned that Trump stoked it recently by also having his goons pick up or gas peaceful protesters, and thus arouse further protest in turn. Not to mention the biggest protests in history against him earlier in the term. Trump being a politician who depends for his support on stoking racial and ethnic fears, and who has promised to crush the protests with the military, the protests are directly related to Trump's own style of leadership.

9
Scandal
The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. FALSE. he was impeached, and constant scandal continues

10
Foreign/military failure
The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. TRUE. close calls but no failures. The Ukraine scandal belongs to Key 9.

Foreign/military success
The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. FALSE. nothing major

12
Incumbent charisma
The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. FALSE. he is a great entertainer but only appeals to his loyal base of followers

13
Challenger charisma
The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. TRUE. Biden is decent and empathetic but not inspiring
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#8
(06-20-2020, 12:20 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: 2016 is a tough one....

7
Policy change
The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. TRUE, Obamacare, but only early in the administration's first term.

11
Foreign/military success
The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. FALSE Although the Paris Agreement was important, it did not concern the security or standing of the United States directly.

These two may have been reversed. Since the major change was in Obama's first term, it might not have counted for the second. But he also had foreign policy success with the Iran nuclear deal.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#9
Lichtman Keys for 1972 election.

Key

1
Party Mandate
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. FALSE. The Republicans in 1970 won 7 fewer seats than in 1966

2
Contest
There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. TRUE.

3
Incumbency
The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. TRUE.

4
Third party
There is no significant third party or independent campaign. TRUE.

5
Short-term economy
The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. TRUE, the economy was doing well in 1972.

6
Long-term economy
Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. FALSE. I think the Democratic terms under JFK and LBJ were stronger than under Nixon because of the 1970 recession.

7
Policy change
The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. TRUE. The environmental protection agency, for one, and other such laws.

8
Social unrest
There is no sustained social unrest during the term. FALSE. Let's turn this one false and see what happens, since unrest was still strong in 1969-1970 and included weatherman bombings and the Kent State massacre and subsequent uprising, plus the largest demonstration ever in world history (Earth Day).

9
Scandal
The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. TRUE, Watergate did not erupt until March 1973.

10
Foreign/military failure
The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. FALSE, Vietnam was still a mess.

Foreign/military success
The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. TRUE, initiated detente with the Soviets and opening to China.

12
Incumbent charisma
The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. FALSE. Nixon was often seen as tacky, although he appealed to the "silent majority."

13
Challenger charisma
The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. TRUE. McGovern was not inspiring enough, though he had a loyal following among coastal youth. Nixon's horoscope score was much higher.

Nixon won by a landslide, although he had 4 or 5 false keys, not enough to turn him out. Congress stayed strongly Democratic.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#10
Lichtman Keys for 2020





http://generational-theory.com/forum/thr...l#pid55751
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#11
Let's see how 1992 shaped up, when Bill Clinton turned out George H.W.Bush

Key

1
Party Mandate
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. FALSE The Republicans lost 10 seats in 1990 compared to 1986.

2
Contest
There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. FALSE. Pat Buchanan did well in the New Hampshire primary.

3
Incumbency
The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. TRUE

4
Third party
There is no significant third party or independent campaign. FALSE Ross Perot

5
Short-term economy
The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. FALSE. It was the economy, stupid.

6
Long-term economy
Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. FALSE

7
Policy change
The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. FALSE Bush was mainly a veto president. He broke his promise and raised taxes.

8
Social unrest
There is no sustained social unrest during the term. FALSE? Rodney King uprising

9
Scandal
The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. TRUE

10
Foreign/military failure
The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. TRUE

11
Foreign/military success
The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. TRUE. Fall of the Soviet Empire and the Berlin Wall. Panama invasion a costly though successful adventure. The Gulf War was a quick and easy victory.

12
Incumbent charisma
The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. FALSE

13
Challenger charisma
The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. FALSE. Bill Clinton was one of the most effective and charming political campaigners ever, who showed great empathy for people.

8 or 9 false Keys. Bush lost.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#12
Going back further in time, let's look at the close election of 1960, when JFK defeated Nixon.

Key

1
Party Mandate
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. FALSE. 1958 was a big Democratic victory. 50 seats lost compared to 1954.

2
Contest
There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. TRUE

3
Incumbency
The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. FALSE

4
Third party
There is no significant third party or independent campaign. TRUE

5
Short-term economy
The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. TRUE I think

6
Long-term economy
Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. FALSE I think. There had been a recession in the late 50s, compared to the great post-war growth.

7
Policy change
The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. TRUE, the interstate highway system.

8
Social unrest
There is no sustained social unrest during the term. TRUE

9
Scandal
The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. TRUE

10
Foreign/military failure
The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. FALSE. The U2 incident was very damaging. The Hungarian Revolution was crushed, and the Suez Crisis ruptured our alliance. France went its own way. Cuba fell to the communists. The Russians beat us to space in 1957.

11
Foreign/military success
The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. FALSE

12
Incumbent charisma
The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. FALSE

13
Challenger charisma
The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. FALSE. JFK was more charismatic, and beat Nixon in the debate on TV although Nixon won it on the radio.

7 false keys. The incumbent Republican Party lost. Had Ike been the candidate, they might have won.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#13
How about 1948, when Truman upset Dewey

Key

1
Party Mandate
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. FALSE. The Democrats lost the House.

2
Contest
There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. TRUE

3
Incumbency
The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. TRUE

4
Third party
There is no significant third party or independent campaign. FALSE. Strom Thurmond and Henry Wallace

5
Short-term economy
The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. TRUE

6
Long-term economy
Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. TRUE

7
Policy change
The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. FALSE. Conservatives blocked his proposals.

8
Social unrest
There is no sustained social unrest during the term. TRUE

9
Scandal
The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. TRUE

10
Foreign/military failure
The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. FALSE. Beginning of the Cold War.

11
Foreign/military success
The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. TRUE. Victory in World War II.

12
Incumbent charisma
The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. TRUE. Give 'em hell, Harry.

13
Challenger charisma
The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. TRUE, Dewey was boring.

4 False Keys, not enough to turn out the Democrats.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#14
How did Lichtman decide in favor of Gore, in Bush v. Gore 2000?

Key

1
Party Mandate
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. TRUE. Republicans lost 4 seats compared to their 1994 win.

2
Contest
There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. FALSE, Sen. Bill Bradley challenged Vice President Gore.

3
Incumbency
The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. FALSE

4
Third party
There is no significant third party or independent campaign. FALSE. Ralph Nader (Green) and Pat Buchanan (Reform).

5
Short-term economy
The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. TRUE

6
Long-term economy
Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. TRUE

7
Policy change
The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. TRUE, I think, since Clinton achieved a balanced budget and a surplus for the first time in decades. This helped bring prosperity to the nation. He did get some gun control passed in his first term, and free trade agreements.

8
Social unrest
There is no sustained social unrest during the term. TRUE

9
Scandal
The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. FALSE. Lewinsky Affair led to impeachment.

10
Foreign/military failure
The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. TRUE, although some might cite the Al Qaeda bombings of the Africa embassies in 1998 and Clinton's failure to knock out bin Laden and co.

11
Foreign/military success
The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. TRUE. Clinton reversed the Serbian invasions with no American casualties. Democracy was restored in Haiti. In first term, a middle east agreement, although it broke down in the second.

12
Incumbent charisma
The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. FALSE

13
Challenger charisma
The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. TRUE, although he was appealing to his half of the nation and had a high horoscope score. But many people agreed he was kind of tacky and not that smart.

Only 5 false Keys. Close call, with some doubtful true keys. Gore won the popular vote, but for the first time since 1988, the electoral college went the other way in favor of Bush-- thanks largely to vote purging and other cheating by the Florida election board under Katharine Harris, the butterfly ballot fiasco, hanging chads, and a partisan decision by the Supreme Court to stop the recount.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#15
Just before the first Presidential debate. 

Strike-out... the key turns against Trump. Italic: favors Trump. 


Key

1. Party Mandate -- After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats inthe U.S. House of Representatives than it did after the previous midterm elections.

This has been so since the 2018 midterm election. One key so far turns against Trump. This rarely works well for any President; the last time it worked for an incumbent President was for Dubya in 2004.

2. Contest -- There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination.

William Weld did offer a challenge to Trump, and even if it got just under 10% of the vote in two states in the Republican primaries it shows some dissent within the incumbent. Contrast Obama, Dubya, and Clinton who had no such meaningful challenge. Such shows a potential for significant numbers of people in Republican Voters Against Trump and the troublesome (for Trump) Lincoln Project. Trump would win re-election if he needed face only liberal opposition, but he cannot afford any conservative opposition on personality, performance, or character. So even if Trump won his Party's nomination without difficulty he has failed to unite it on his behalf. That is the second key turning against Trump.  

3 Incumbency -- The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president.

This is as solid as it gets. Even if something happened to President Trump between now and Election Day, we could all presume that "President Mike Pence" would be continuing the campaign for his own election. No key turns here. 

4 Third party -- There is no significant third party or independent campaign.

A libertarian-to-ultraconservative challenge to the Trump campaign is more like a paper cut than a compound fracture or third-degree burn to his chance.  The effect should be trivial this time. No key turns here.

5. Short-term economy -- The economy is not in recession during the election campaign.

Unemployment is high as the result of COVID-19 and many people who have jobs are earning much less (think of cooks and waiters in nice restaurants who end up in fast-food places to mark time until such places are safe again). The stock markets have shown signs of reeling. One can blame the plague, but one can also blame the President for mishandling it, too. He may not be responsible for economic consequences from a disease to whose response 
he has no culpability, but he did bungle the response. Fear pervades the American economy, and perception is everything. This is the fourth key to turn against him.
   
6. Long-term economy -- Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms.

This is a tough standard against the sort of real growth that one associates with a recovery from a really-nasty economic meltdown. Trump really had no chance to win this key. The best that he could hope for was a continuation of the Obama recovery into higher territory. The Stock Market reached a peak in the winter of 2020 and took a huge dip before going into a rally. Whether one trusts that rally or not is one's choice, Economic growth has subsided. This key turns against Trump and stays turned. He has one key left that must not turn.  

7. Policy change -- The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy.

Even if the change is ultimately harmful to America, any significant change -- even if it were so horrible as instigating a pogrom -- would count as a key working for the President. Tax cuts intended for the Master Class and his likely transformation of the US Supreme Court into a defender of reactionary ideology against any liberal reform constitute major change in policy. Such is a measure of effectiveness of a President, whether one likes such a change or disparages it. This is one key that does not turn against Trump even if I disparage the consequences.  

8 Social unrest -- There is no sustained social unrest during the term.

As Lichtman put it, polite or non-violent protest does not constitute unrest likely to hurt an administration. He did not recognize the Tea Party Movement as unrest, and neither, really does such polite and non-violent protest such as the Women's March or the more continuing Black Lives Matters protests. What would people in Black Lives Matter do if they saw someone torching a car? They would call the cops.

I am more concerned about the racist violence of the Alt-Right that the President has trivialized or excused. Instead of telling Americans (as LBJ did after some horrors committed by "Killers, Kowards* and Kooks") to abandon violent racist causes, President Trump has offered a mangled response, saying "There are good people on both sides". This is not the Israeli-Palestinian dispute in which both sides have culpability and have done excesses and there really are good people on both sides. People who run over a protester of the other side or do racist massacres express the pervasive evil of their causes.  There are not good people on both sides on arson or child molestation, and there are not good people on the side of genocidal fascism. This is the sixth key to turn, and Trump is practically excluded from winning the popular vote.     

9 Scandal -- The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal.

This is the most pervasively-corrupt Presidency in American history. Donald Trump makes the previous holder of the title, Warren Gamaliel Harding, look like a saint in contrast. I wish I could say on this one alone that nobody needs a key because the door is blasted open with the door off the latch so that one could take away a grand piano. There is absolutely no excuse for corrupt behavior by the President -- ever. Seventh key, and four to go.   

10 Foreign/military failure -- The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs.

He got nothing from his parleys with the Emperor-in-all-but-name of North Korea. Meanwhile  the President's buddy Vladimir Putin chips away at Ukraine with impunity and China tightens the screws on Hong Kong in violation of treaties. Significantly, his attempt to blackmail the President of Ukraine into messing with the campaign of an opponent got him impeached. Maybe not convicted, but when the Other Side must impeach the President due to gross misconduct, and the issue involves foreign policy, then such is a foreign policy failure. 

I don't know how I would treat COVID-19 as a political key**, but in view of the mass death (200,000 and counting) it much resembles a costly stalemate from which we would be wise to extricate ourselves unless there is no viable alternative to victory. Lichtman did not mention plagues and other natural disasters mishandled badly. 

One way or another, this key turns against him.  So far he has a 2-8 winning record. NFL coaches are often fired for such performance when expectations began high and one does not have the excuse that the quarterback is out for the season due to a season-ending injury. 

11. Foreign/military success -- The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs.

Does getting an accord between Israel and the United Arab Emirates qualify as major? Few expected it. I will give him this one. At this point I can afford a little charity in interpretation.

12 Incumbent charisma -- The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero.

No. He is an emotional wreck. Charisma can get people to do what they otherwise not do. If one lacks this one cannot convince people except in shrewd dealings. This key turns against Trump, who is now at 3-9. In a competitive sport a 3-9 season with one game to go. In the usual  162-game baseball season, a 3-9 stretch might indicate a team in trouble that needs to make major changes if it is to get or stay in contention. Trump can preach to the choir all that he wants, but that will not be enough.

13 Challenger charisma -- The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero.

OK. Nobody is going to confuse Joe Biden with John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Trump wins this, and he is at 4-9, and that is the end of the story. 

*The spelling error is deliberate on my part. Get it?

**If I were President I would treat it as seriously as a major war. Wouldn't you? I doubt that Trump has read a biography of FDR or Sir Winston Churchill. I would demonize the virus like American leadership demonized Hitler and Tojo and keep reassuring Americans that the sacrifices are well worth the hardships.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#16
I would give him #10, and not #11 (no major success, or failure, in foreign affairs, as Lichtman says). The UAE deal is nothing but economic trade deals. Nothing burger.

#7 is hard to call, since he achieved no real legislative change, other than to reduce Obamacare somewhat and continue the Bush/Reagan tax policy. But he is turning the Courts into dens of reaction, so I guess I gotta give him that one now, especially assuming he gets Barrett through. Ginsburg's death was a real present for him and his fellow kooks. I wonder if this new nomination will actually help or hurt him in November, though. But if I give Trump Key 7, then I am also in agreement with Lichtman as well as Brower.

#2 Weld I don't consider a significant challenge, and Drump won his primary easily indeed. So I have no trouble with Lichtman's ruling of true on this one. The Lincoln Brigades don't seem to be having any effect at all on Trump's poll numbers among Republicans.

So Lichtman's ruling of 7 false keys stands, in my view.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
Reply
#17
I look at the primary votes (nearly 10% in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania) for William Weld as internal dissent within the GOP. As barely as he won in 2016, any significant loss of support within his own Party would mean a loss in the next election. Unless one wins by at least a near-landslide, a President seeking re-election must at the least keep those who held their noses while voting for him (which includes those who vote strictly on party lines) to get re-elected. Winning new2 supporters when another part of one's winning coalition moves away from one's Party. Jimmy Carter would have had a good chance of getting re-elected had he been able to hold onto the new evangelical Christians who voted for him in 1976 but went Republican in 1980 -- and picked up the vast majority of Anderson voters of 1980.

The hazard with the second key does not come from a perennial candidate Harold Stassen* at a ridiculously-old age or an extremist like Lyn Larouche or David DuKKKe. It comes from people who identify with the Party of the recent nominees who decide this time (although it might be a transition) to the more conventional nominee of another Party (Democrats for Nixon in 1972, Democrats for Reagan in 1980, and Republican Voters Against Trump in 2020.

So contrast Trump to the last three Presidents, all of whom faced no more than a nominal challenge to their campaigns for re-nomination. Obama? Nothing. Dubya? I forget. Clinton? I forget. It is far more difficult to win re-election as Presidential if one spends much of one's time rebuilding bridges to those who voted against one in the primary election. Basically the third key is a strong one (with even a mediocre record of achievements, voters from the initial election are not likely to see their first vote as a mistake), but the second key can take it back. If reliable voters on the Other Side despise the incumbent, then such does not matter. If people within one's Party are getting the heebie-jeebies about what they have, then that incumbent President has deep problems.

Party unity matters, and Trump lacks it this time. Maybe I have a slightly-different formulation for failure than does Lichtman, but when you see people fitting Republican stereotypes and the boilerplate ideology of the Republican Party turning against him and even recent elected officials, then one is almost doomed to defeat.


*I made a joke one time about the Republican Party nominating Stassen, who was finally dead. Nothing in the Constitution takes away the right to run for office from someone just because he is dead.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#18
(09-30-2020, 11:54 AM)pbrower2a Wrote: I look at the primary votes (nearly 10% in New Hampshire and Pennsylvania) for William Weld as internal dissent within the GOP. As barely as he won in 2016, any significant loss of support within his own Party would mean a loss in the next election. Unless one wins by at least a near-landslide, a President seeking re-election must at the least keep those who held their noses while voting for him (which includes those who vote strictly on party lines) to get re-elected. Winning new2 supporters when another part of one's winning coalition moves away from one's Party. Jimmy Carter would have had a good chance of getting re-elected had he been able to hold onto the new evangelical Christians who voted for him in 1976 but went Republican in 1980 -- and picked up the vast majority of Anderson voters of 1980.

The hazard with the second key does not come from a perennial candidate Harold Stassen* at a ridiculously-old age or an extremist like Lyn Larouche or David DuKKKe. It comes from people who identify with the Party of the recent nominees who decide this time (although it might be a transition) to the more conventional nominee of another Party (Democrats for Nixon in 1972, Democrats for Reagan in 1980, and Republican Voters Against Trump in 2020.

So contrast Trump to the last three Presidents, all of whom faced no more than a nominal challenge to their campaigns for re-nomination. Obama? Nothing. Dubya? I forget. Clinton? I forget. It is far more difficult to win re-election as Presidential if one spends much of one's time rebuilding bridges to those who voted against one in the primary election. Basically the third key is a strong one (with even a mediocre record of achievements, voters from the initial election are not likely to see their first vote as a mistake), but the second key can take it back. If reliable voters on the Other Side despise the incumbent, then such does not matter. If people within one's Party are getting the heebie-jeebies about what they have, then that incumbent President has deep problems.

Party unity matters, and Trump lacks it this time. Maybe I have a slightly-different formulation for failure than does Lichtman, but when you see people fitting Republican stereotypes and the boilerplate ideology of the Republican Party turning against him and even recent elected officials, then one is almost doomed to defeat.

The Lincoln Brigades and Republican intelligencia just don't seem to be making a dent in Republican support for the Drumpface. Is it even enough to account for the Rust Belt defectors of 2016 coming back into the fold? Maybe, I don't know. Weld just didn't meet the standard of a viable primary challenger, although PA is certainly important. But according to Politico "Others" without mentioning Weld only reached 6%. 270 to win said Weld got 6%. https://www.270towin.com/2020-election-r...ia/primary

Edit: On the other hand, the wikipedia article gives Weld 9.0% in NH. Still, NH was home territory and he faded rapidly afterward in most places.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_New_H...al_primary

From the wikipedia article:
"Incumbent president Donald Trump won the primary with 84.4 percent of the vote, clinching all of the state's 22 pledged delegates to the national convention. Despite Bill Weld winning 9% of the vote, President Trump received the most votes (129,734) in the New Hampshire primary for an incumbent candidate in U.S. history, moving past the previous recordholder, Bill Clinton, in 1996 (76,797)"

Winning no delegates in the state where he won the highest percentage of the vote doesn't stand Bill Weld too well as a significant primary challenger.

Quote:*I made a joke one time about the Republican Party nominating Stassen, who was finally dead. Nothing in the Constitution takes away the right to run for office from someone just because he is dead.

Well, we have our first voter from space this year, from the precinct of the space station voting electronically and via some kind of transmission. Why not voters from the Other Side? Using mediums to record their votes might just be a good idea, ha ha. And eligible as officeholders too! Now there's a major demographic change for the future. Now, old people are conservative, but being unencumbered by Earthy burdens and so well connected to Spirit might counteract the age they died on Earth, and make all dead people liberals.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#19
(06-19-2020, 11:16 PM)Key Wrote: The worst for an incumbent in the 20th century was Hoover.


1 Party Mandate 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. FALSE. Democrats won big in the House in 1930.

2 Contest There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. TRUE. Slight contest that amounted to nothing. 

3 Incumbency The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. TRUE. 

4 Third party There is no significant third party or independent campaign. TRUE, as less than 3% of the popular vote went to the Socialist Norman Thomas, the Communist William Foster, and other irrelevancies. 

5 Short-term economy The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. FALSE -- three years of economic meltdown with mass fear of worse.

6 Long-term economy Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. FALSE -- Hoover presided over an economic meltdown that came close to  the economic conditions of the late nineteenth century.

7 Policy change The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. TRUE -- even if the biggest economic effect came from the Smoot-Hawley tariff, which worsened the economic reality. 

8 Social unrest There is no sustained social unrest during the term. FALSE -- the Bonus March by veterans who were promised bonuses that the government supposedly could not afford. 

9 Scandal The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. TRUE

10 Foreign/military failure The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. FALSE -- Satan Incarnate was taking over in Germany in part due to stringent collection of reparations.  

11 Foreign/military success The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. FALSE -- there was no significant success.

12 Incumbent charisma The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. FALSE-- Hoover was a wreck.

13 Challenger charisma The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. TRUE -- FDR exuded confidence and optimism uncharacteristic of America at the time

Eight false keys, which is about what I see for Trump this year.
The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the dedicated Communist  but instead the people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction, true and false, no longer exists -- Hannah Arendt.


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#20
Good, but I would give Hoover a FALSE for changes in national policy, because his trickle-down measures giving support to big business to end the depression failed miserably. I would put Smoot-Hawley under foreign policy failure, because it made the global depression worse, and on the other hand, Hitler had not yet come to power, and we had no relationship failures with Germany during the term that were not instituted after Versailles. But the tariff keeps that key FALSE, so 9 False Keys. The worst indeed.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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