I saw a lot of chatter about this story this week:
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.
There are very few things in life that are perfect and will remain so throughout time- the FSM’s noodly adoration for us all, my dog Lily, mojitos, Shakira’s ass, and the 72 Dolphins basically complete my list. Basically, I don’t buy this at all. There are a number of reasons why Obama could lose in 2012 (and Nate Silver provides some), not including the fact that the GOP has spent the last three years doing everything in their power to disfranchise people they believe are Democrat leaning.
It would be completely disastrous for Democrats to go into 2012 assuming that the election is a lock
At the same time, premature panicking is premature.
If unemployment is 9% then Obama can lose. Since the repubs control the House, they will not do anything to create jobs so Perry could be the next pres. of the states of america.
Can we have pet pictures now?
Fortunately, no one in the WH assumes that. Although the GOP is doing a damn good job of acting like 2012 is a lock for their side, hence the rise of Yet Another Asshole Texan.
Lichtman comes across like the eHarmony
assholeguy–supreme confidence in an undisclosed formula…
Number of people who will rest easy because of Lichtman’s simplistic thesis: 0.
Number of people on the left who will wring their hands because it seems like such an uphill battle: 100,000+.
Number of people in the Village media complex who will enable a GOP candidate to stay close in a race he/she should lose by 30 points: all of the fuckers.
With the current Republican field as crazy as it is, as long as there is some upswing in the economy, I find it hard to accept Obama losing the general.
But if the economy continues to crater, even if the original reasons for that cratering aren’t his fault and the stimulus did help save 1.2 million jobs give or take, it’s not going to be pretty.
Too many people can’t look back at the real reasons for the way things are today and will blame him for the bad economy.
That’s after they finish watching Dancing with the Stars.
I wonder … when we have Pres Perry in 2013, will the whiny left acknowledge at all that they spent far too much energy sniping at centrists and the administration?
Or will everything that went wrong these 4 years just get blamed squarely on Obama?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Omnes Omnibus: This also is true as well, also. At my most giddily optimistic, I think Obama will win a close race. Was it Nate Silver who said No Carolina and Indiana are still swing states? That’s a big change from just 2004, if it holds. Kasich, Scott and Walker could be drags on Perry…. a year from now, speculation will be slightly less pointless. But only slightly.
I think it’s going to be the most important election of our lives. (Speaking for those of us not old enough to vote for FDR …)
Um, what’s going on here? 4 posts in 3 hours. Cole, I want some too (if it’s in bottle form.) Unless it’s Meth, then I’ll pass.
I will be in Costa Rica or Europe if Perry or another Republican wins.
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@JPL: If unemployment was a 3% Obama could lose. The data points for how unemployment affects elections are not every conclusive.
From what I understand, there was some scheduling SNAFU today that guarantees that Obummer will not win re-election.
I found myself thinking about phone banking today. Not in a happy way, but in a potentially willing way. We shall see. I’ve never seen this county organized the way the Obama campaign did in 2008. It was something to behold, and Jefferson County, CO went Democratic for the first time in 40ish years.
I’d say “Know hope” but then I’d have to strangle myself.
Interesting you say that. My husband has multiple citizenships and he said to me “If Perry wins, we’re moving.” Period. I can see his point.
Even as a card carrying Obot – I am only cautiously optimistic.
I am rather worried about the depths to which the wing-nuts will sink in order to bring him down, and about the way in which the left will encourage a repeat of the 2010 mid-term sulk.
That said, I still think he can pull this one out of the hat, as I tend to think that Obama doesn’t really start playing the game until the silly summer season is over. I also think Obama recognizes how much heavy lifting he needs to do to actually get re-elected. I don’t think he takes it for granted how much work is in store for the next year.
Enhanced Voting Techniques
If the Republicans had a candidates who didn’t stink to high heaven, yes, Obama could lose (with plenty of help from the purity trolls on the left) The real reason Obama will won is the same reason Obama won in 2008 is the GOP has gone nuts and only has religious zealots and con men as candidates.
I always say, a POTUS election is like any hitter stepping to the plate. If they can swing the bat, they are dangerous.
That said, I adore Nate Silver, but sometimes his hamster wheel gets to spinning a little to fast. I haven’t studied Lichtman’s acid test, though he has been thusfar completely right, but the matrix of the election for potus, lies with it being Obama’s to lose, imo. And he is a pretty good campaigner, to put it mildly.
A little pendulum graph by Charlie Cook highlights what I’m talking about in a meta way.
I might think different, if I didn’t think Romney can’t win a GOP primary, at least in this cycle, and Rick Perry will be a disaster as a candidate. true clown on the national stage. Sarah Palin with a dick grade clown. Ask Goldwater, who was buried with a copy of the SS act, the first third rail also ran
Belafon (formerly anonevent)
@mk3872: No, the whiny left will say that if Obama had just listened to them, he would have won.
Liberalism can’t fail, it can only be failed.
That doesn’t entirely apply in this case, but in this case they’ll argue causation does not equal correlation.
And it doesn’t hurt that Obama will be running against a complete loon, whichever one will get the republican nod.
John is a posting machine.
I remember when pundits often would say that nobody has ever gotten their party’s nomination without winning the New Hampshire primary. This was true until 1992. Tsongas (92), Buchanan (96), McCain (2000), Hillary (08), and Romney (12?) will beg to differ. Its a trend until its not.
@Belafon (formerly anonevent): Thanks. Between now and the election I plan on practicing my deep breathing exercises.
we still have Lily and Shakira’s hips don’t lie. so all is not lost.
I see Cole is going with the tao of tags now.
As an OT, I mentioned ceiling cat to a classroom of students today. None of them knew who it was. I can haz sad?
Gin & Tonic
Shakira’s ass will eventually sag. They all do.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@cathyx: I don’t think Romney is a loon, FWIW. I think he’ll play a loon, say looney things, sign looney pledges, chase desperately after looney votes, but underneath his utter shallowness, I think he’s saner and smarter than the last two Republican nominees.
@gocart mozart: Remember also “the curse of the Hill” and “no [Democratic] ticket can win without a Southerner”, two bits of late 20th century conventional wisdom I was so glad to see die in 2008.
The economy is going to continue downhill for at least the rest of the year. I’d say we’re likely to dip into a recession, but it’ll be a shallow one. (There’s a chance we won’t technically enter recession, but it’ll feel like one.)
As I mentioned this morning, this has been in the pipeline for 9 months now – those who track oil prices projected we’d see a downturn or recession now:
There’s no way around it, and no jobs programs will create a self-sustaining recovery any longer – until, that is, folks realize that the only way out of this hole is energy independence.
@Gin & Tonic: Her’s probably won’t. She can afford surgery.
@Gin & Tonic:
Don’t even joke about that!
@Gin & Tonic: Heresy! You shall be burned at the stake in front of the Church of The Sacred Ass Of Shakira (h/t tbogg).
@barath: Yeah..Drill, Baby, Drill is back because most don’t understand what energy independence means.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I don’t think Romney is a loon, FWIW. I think he’ll play a loon, say looney things, sign looney pledges, chase desperately after looney votes, but underneath his utter shallowness, I think he’s saner and smarter than the last two Republican nominees.
So if it looks like a duck, acts like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s still not a duck? Underneath it all, he’s normal. What difference does it make if he doesn’t look, act, and quack normally?
If it’s a referendum on Obama/the economy/to-low-info-voters-they’re-the-same-thing, then it will be close, maybe just maybe even a close Obama loss.
If it’s a choice election, it won’t be very close at all. Obama the Campaigner will be sure to highlight the differences, none of which favor Perry or Romney.
Or maybe I have it wrong: to some of the electorate, this is a referendum, while others will be voting their “choice”. As long as Dems and most Independents actually recognize the choice they have in front of them and are motivated/vote accordingly, Obama should win w/ minimal losses from his 2008 totals. If not, I think I will join Elizabelle @ 11 (in spirit if not actual location)
Gin & Tonic
Gravity. Not just a good idea, it’s the law!
In the way that only hedge fund managing sons of career politicians, who strap dogs to the tops of their SUVs can be normal.
Yeah. They don’t get that there are only two options with energy now: either change behavior or change sources. We don’t have any alternatives that can replace oil directly in the near term (vs. electricity, for which there are plenty of alternatives). And our potential domestic reserves are a joke compared to how much we’d need – drilling won’t do any good.
What we’re left with is we have to change behavior – we need to decrease the oil consumed per $ of GDP – which means public transit, electric rail, energy efficiency, carpooling, etc.
It is at times like this that I am really glad that I retained my British Citizenship and never went for naturalized citizenship. Just renew my British passport, go home and I am golden baby.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@cathyx: true, but I was kind of joking. If Romney were to make it all the way, I think he’d be like Poppy Bush, he would start out thinking he could heal the wounds, or whatever the fuck, make a “kinder gentler” inauguration speech, and then get slapped down even harder by Jim DeMint than Poppy did by Pat Robertson, so we’d skip David Souter and go straight to Clarence Thomas
@Omnes Omnibus: Since I don’t have permission to edit, here is a <a href=" link with a worship service
@barath: Would someone in the “peak oil” camp explain how we’re supposed to get rid of all the *other* things oil goes into, like plastics or rubber, for instance?
I’m not saying I disagree with you, but that’s something I’ve wondered. No amount of wind farms or solar panels will change the composition of plastic or rubber.
BTW, I’m already sick of the 9/11 10th anniversary stuff, and it’s only Sept. 1.
@priscianusjr: In fact, for them premature panicking is ALREADY TOO LATE!!!1!!1!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@arguingwithsignposts: Oy, you and me both. If I had the money, I think I’d bolt the country for the next two weeks.
My concern is that unlike 2008, the GOP has a frothing, angry, motivated base, and they’re all going to vote. Every last one of them. I think it’s going to be a lot tougher to win states like Ohio and Florida in 2012, and you need to pick off one of those states to win the presidency, if you can’t run the table on the smaller swing states like Iowa, North Carolina, Colorado and Indiana.
I worry most about depressed Democratic turnout similar to the 2010 midterms, and so it will be interesting to see how the Obama campaign team is going to fire up the base again. It’s going to have to be a completely different campaign than it was in 2008. Hope and change and lofty rhetoric and Will.I.Am songs aren’t gonna get it this time around.
Also, won’t this be our first post-Citizens United presidential election? I’m concerned about what that’s going to look like.
@arguingwithsignposts: Yes, exactly. They are all loons, every single one of them.
@arguingwithsignposts: A lot could be reclaimed through recycling.
J. Michael Neal
I haven’t studied Lichtman’s acid test, though he has been thusfar completely right
As Matt Yglesias pointed out today, if you have more than 128 political scientists using presidential election prediction formulas, you would expect at least one of them to go 7-for-7 by random chance.[fn1] That’s the nature of binomial predictions. The blind squirrel that found that particular nut has about a 50% chance of being right an eighth time in a row.
[fn1] This isn’t quite true mathematically. It depends upon the unknowable exact likelihood of specific candidates winning specific elections and the biases in the prediction system. I’ll stand by those numbers as being a good approximation, though.
@Gin & Tonic:
Gravity is only a theory. The reason we don’t all fly into space is because the Earth sucks. Food for thought.
Gin & Tonic
@Omnes Omnibus: Bad linky.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’m glad you were sort of joking, but I don’t think he’d be like Bush the first. I think he would cave to the demands of the crazy in a heartbeat.
@J. Michael Neal:
Speaking of blind squirrels, neolib MattyY is just that. You’d have strengthened your point by never citing him.
@Gin & Tonic: Sorry, try this.
Gin & Tonic
@gocart mozart: Shoes for industry!
@gocart mozart: Okay, that should make John’s list. Send it to the Perry campaign, he’d probably use it. lol
also, too.. i am so stealing that quote..thanks
There are a few ways of explaining it:
1. Peak oil is just about peaking – the decline slope of oil production is a long, drawn out process. We will never really run out of oil – it’ll just get really expensive. (We’re basically at the peak right now – really a plateau since 2005.)
2. Most oil is used for transportation and agriculture. Plastics is a small fraction.
3. Natural gas and natural gas liquids can be used to make plastics. Sometimes it’s not as easy, but it can be done.
4. We can eliminate our use of plastics in a number of areas – consider plastic bags, a lot of non-food packaging, disposables, etc. This will happen on its own as plastic gets more expensive as oil prices go up.
5. We can use algal oil and/or plant starches to produce some plastics.
So it’ll be a while I think before peak oil hits us on the plastic front really hard. The main reason it hurts our economy (and why we are likely at peak GDP, not just peak oil) is because we depend upon oil for transportation. (For example, a number of economic indicators – trucking and rail indexes, to name two – are all about how much stuff did we move last month, which means how much oil did we burn last month?)
“I wonder … when we have Pres Perry in 2013, will the whiny left acknowledge at all that they spent far too much energy sniping at centrists and the administration?
Or will everything that went wrong these 4 years just get blamed squarely on Obama?”
Hmm…how about “no” on #1, “yes” on #2.
And of course the WH knows it’s going to be an uphill battle next year. They’ve got the GOP acting like a bunch of petulant jerks, they’ve got some on the Left calling for Obama to just fucking lose or get primaried by some fantasy liberal who will somehow triumph.
And they know that the Village Voices are all off sucking off the GOP. My guess is that the WH knows that they are basically standing alone, and the only place to go is….to the people.
Hence this speech on jobs. Hence the speeches Obama has been giving many times.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@Gin & Tonic: Shoes for the dead!
@barath: thanks for the explanation.
Oh, and just to tack on one last concern to my prior post… in the realm of politics, the election is a lifetime away. Anything could happen. A devastating hurricane, a terror attack, a deeper economic weakening in the Eurozone, a Beirut-style horrific attack on our troops in Afghanistan or Iraq, a deteriorating situation in the Arab world, skyrocketing prices at the pump.
We’re all going to have to stay on our toes, because we’ve been cursed to “live in interesting times.”
On that note, and under Cole’s inspiration, I think I’m going to make myself a strong-ass Margarita. Right now!
I got this today from a “pal”
J. Michael Neal
@arguingwithsignposts: That some people have a tendency to misrepresent his arguments is not my problem.
Replacing oil as an ingredient of plastics, etc.
We have made things out of petroleum products because we had petroleum products.
Plastic? Plastic what? Carbohydrates can be polymerized so that you can make a plastic-like product out of corn. There are other possibilities.
But yes. It might require some conscious effort. And mining of landfills for leftover plastic to reprocess and reuse.
“I worry most about depressed Democratic turnout similar to the 2010 midterms, and so it will be interesting to see how the Obama campaign team is going to fire up the base again.”
They shouldn’t have been. Obama told them after winning that the job was not done, and we had to stay involved. No one should have sat back and said, “Well, lemme have a beer and wait for this guy to wave the wand.”
But that’s what some did. And because some of them seemed to forget about the nature of politics–that it’s about compromise, that you will win some and lose some, and that the President cannot pass every fucking bill himself–it’s Congress that generates the laws–and also due to nano-second levels of patience and the all too common urge to throw up the hands and scream defeat instead of realizing that fixing 30+ year of GOP bullshit is going to take time (and add to this the fact that they sat home and didn’t counter the Tea Party’s shenanigans at the town hall meetings–or praised those outbursts, like Dave Lindorff did)….that’s your 2010 defeat in a nutshell.
If people who call themselves progressives and really want progressive change can take one look at what has transpired since 2010 and see the absolute batshit insanity of the GOP….and still turn around and say, “Fuck it, Obama’s lost my vote,” or “Obama needs a primary challenge,” or “I’m voting Green to send a message!”…there’s no honest way to put it–they’re fools. Plain and simple, cold and blunt.
You do not have to agree with everything Obama has done. You can have honest criticisms about him and his policies. But do you really want to hand this country back to the GOP again? I mean, I remember hearing the old saw back in 2000 that Bush was not going to be that bad and that Gore would be worse. How things changed so quickly in 2001.
@J. Michael Neal: Who said anything about misrepresenting his arguments. He’s a hack, with libertarian tendencies, and a trust-fund juice-box mafia pundit to boot. I’m not even bringing FdB into the conversation.
It will be Obama’s fault and the fault of all his Obots who suppressed any form of dissent from the True Progressives.
@Linda Featheringill: I had heard of efforts to reconstitute plastics before. I wasn’t arguing against peak oil, or the need to reduce our dependence on said oil. That was an honest question.
I appreciate the replies.
“I also think Obama recognizes how much heavy lifting he needs to do to actually get re-elected. I don’t think he takes it for granted how much work is in store for the next year.”
I mean, this man didn’t get to where is now by slacking off and smoking a joint or drinking himself silly (or having daddy’s buddies bail him out). He got here by working his ass off, a lot more than many of his critics want to accept.
We saw what he could do in 2008. While I also agree that we should be cautiously optimistic, I’m also not in favor of underestimating him.
@Jager: I clicked. It was an error.
And I’m sure that that speechy thing next
WednesdayThursday is going to be just the ticket to put the stake in the heart of the Republican better government through Jumpin Jeebus and Just Say No to the Blackity, Blackity Black Black in the WHITE House vampire that is sucking the life out of us.
You just watch.
OK, if you can’t watch because you are watching football, or watching paint dry, come back here and we’ll tell you how great that speechy thing was.
a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)
@JenJen: Don’t you think that King John and Rick Scott are inducing enough buyer’s remorse to swing moderates (and in OH, law enforcement Rs) in favor of the Ds in 2012? That’s my fervent hope.
@Enhanced Voting Techniques:
“The real reason Obama will win is the same reason Obama won in 2008 is the GOP has gone nuts and only has religious zealots and con men as candidates.”
One hopes, friend. One hopes.
Couldn’t agree more. The other night on the local news in Milwaukee there was some report about a piece of steel from the World Trade Center being carted around for people to see. I was flabbergasted. The piece from The Daily Show where Aasif Mandvi showed several clips of our war criminals describing the carnage in Iraq as “birth pangs of democracy” came to my mind. Aasif then compared that to 9/11 in an excellent way.
Obama’s re-election chances are 50/50. Granted, the cratering of the economy is not his fault. OTOH, presidents are elected to do something to mitigate bad times. Yes, there are many excuses for our continuing economic malaise and continuing high unemployment. We know them because we pay far more attention than the average voter. All that the average voter knows is that things aren’t getting any better. Democrats pride themselves on being grounded in reality; the reality is that Obama’s most powerful opponent in ’12 will be the economy. To my mind his signal failure was to pass a lackluster stimulus and then move on to other things. Had he maintained a focus on job creation and repairing the damage to the economy while he had Democratic majorities in the Congress he might still have Democratic majorities in the Congress. We’ve lost the House and with 22 seats to defend in ’12 while facing an energized Republican electorate we may lose the Senate as well. Re-electing Obama under those circumstances, or even under those that now obtain, may make us feel good it just won’t make things any better.
As we approach 10 years from 911 if it is one thing we as a nation have embraced is fear. Because of the Squeeker of the House postponing our President. More folks will actually watch the gathering of the crazy next Wed. The unemployed in America have already prayed to Jesus..and they are still unemployed…and probably will be next year. The unemployed will not have been hired by the “job creators” getting the Bush/Obama tax breaks…
Voters will be more afraid of the big crazy. No matter the GOP nominee they will make McCain look like Eisenhower.
Fear will re-elect Obama…and ya know..irony is the fulcrum of our lives…so the party of fear will actually lose because they were so successful.
“If you plant ice you’re gonna harvest wind.”
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
I don’t want anyone that desperate to be President of the United States. What’s he gonna do to stay President? He’s just as dangerous in my opinion.
@Marc McKenzie: I couldn’t agree with you more. I was frankly surprised at how quickly certain progressives either lost faith or just up and quit on this President. It’s been frustrating, and the discontent seems mostly about process, not policy.
I was surrounded by Naderites during the 2000 election and on an anecdotal level I do feel it happening again within my liberal circle of friends. I knew far too many here in Ohio who were quite gung ho in 2008 but sat 2010 out, essentially giving us Governor Kasich. Ohio’s been on a bad luck streak ever since, and I don’t want to see that happening nationwide.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): I hope you’re right about Kasich and Scott motivating progressives and Reagan Democrat-types who are ready to come back home, but those governors won’t be on the ballot, and so we just have to hope it all translates somehow, and that the Obama campaign team makes the case in those crucial states.
@a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q):
I’d certainly hope that it would be a big help.
A more robust stimulus would have just run out of steam a few quarters later, but the fundamental dynamic would have been the same. As in, there’s nothing a mixed stimulus of the kind that anyone (from Krugman on down) proposed could do to move us toward energy independence and a real sustained recovery. As best energy measures were token parts of the proposals back then.
The problem with Lichtman’s test is that half the items are incredibly subjective and easy to fit to past results.
For example, he pins Obama as being charismatic in 2008, but not in 2012. Iran-Contra wasn’t a big enough scandal to count against Bush Sr. What’s a national hero? What’s an accomplishment? There’s an incredible amount of wriggle room to ensure that it “predicts” any election.
I guess Nate Silver made the same points.
The song is Obummer by Christina Houston on Youtube it done to the tune of Ritchie Valens Oh Donna
lets try it again http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=aiGg8D4hFLc&vq=medium
Won’t there be statewide elections as well? They will still be Governors but we can still change take away their majorities.
@arguingwithsignposts: If we stopped wasting it in running cars and generating electricity and heat, we would still have the petroleum to use in other things, like for plastics and drugs, etc.
@Omnes Omnibus: works now, see 83
@Jager: It worked for me the first time. I just was appalled by it.
Davis X. Machina
Outcomes in politics are over-determined anyways. There are thirty different theories for the outcome of any single election.
True, jump-starting a bullshit economy based on consumerism is a tall hill to climb. I still think that Obama would have benefited from at least attempting to put things right. His emphasis on the ACA (On which the public remains divided) and his subsequent pursuit of a nebulous FinReg (The regulators are already having trouble making the over 600 rules needed to flesh out the bill) aren’t exactly things on which he can run.
Personally, I don’t see how Obama manages to win. He can’t even schedule a speech without being made a fool of by the opposition. Yes, he’s being treated horribly, and yet he can’t manage to find a way to manage that to his advantage. Until he does, he’s in deep trouble.
@Mike: Yeah, the guy has done nothing over past few years but be the butt of jokes.
Lichtman’s keys aren’t foolproof and anybody on Obama’s team that looks at them and gets complacent should be fired and/or assigned to monitor tea party meetings. That said, Lichtman isn’t a fool, his keys do address factors that are important in elections and they were developed in the early 80s looking backwards to the Civil War era. IOW, he’s not a crank in identifying key components for electability.
Now on to the really important issue at hand. Shakira, having enough money to afford it, will be able to defy gravity and retain perfection for decades. How she does it will remain secret between her and her
@Mike: Tone deaf. You haz it!
@Mike: And there it is. See, I don’t really buy into the idea that Americans care more about process than policy when the time comes to vote. I think you’d be hard-pressed to find people who even knew the speech was rescheduled next week when the President delivers his actual address.
As soon as the address has concluded, won’t it be the story, not how the address came about in the first place?
@boss bitch: Good point. There are statewide elections to be sure, and I’m motivated to end the GOP majority in Ohio. And, to me, making certain Sherrod Brown remains our US Senator is as important as keeping President Obama in the Oval Office. If Obama can’t drive progressive turnout in Ohio, I’ll put hard money down that Senator Brown can. Here’s hoping!
@arguingwithsignposts: You can go a long way with bioplastic, which is made out of corn sugar, and it biodegrades.
That along with more recycling, and we’d have a good thing going.
Slight OT as part of the reply, but I have always thought we could really get the economy going by having a federal program to encourage on site energy generation.
Imagine if we went all out with solar/wind/geothermal on residential buildings all across the country. We could save money on energy and create tons of jobs to do the contracting/construction/refitting work.
@Omnes Omnibus: No shit…all a PAC would have to do is pay to run it on cable, over and over and over and over….Ray Stevens has a Obama song out and the black guy bitching about the budget…the wingers are sending them to everybody.
I do sort of assume, no matter who wins the election (even if weak does triumph over deranged), that the country’s fucked. Over. The new Spain.
That, plus the fact that there are thirteen “keys” in Lichtman’s system and only nine presidential elections since it was written. (He claims that it “predicts” every election since 1860, but unless he also claims he came up with the system entirely before testing it against any previous elections, “predicting” the past isn’t that impressive.)
@singfoom: Personally, I’d like to see if we can find a way to go with some form of bioplastic that doesn’t spike the costs of food.
Raven (formerly stuckinred)
@Raenelle: Cool, I love paella!
@Raenelle: Better the New Spain than the New Somalia.
Also too, does Mr. Smarty Pants’ model account for Man-in-the-middle electronic voter fraud?
@lol: Except, of course, Lichtman made these calls well before every election post-1980, and has come up with the correct winner in each, most well in advance, some in direct contradiction of what the current mood or polling showed (as in ’88, when Dukakis had his famous 17-point lead but Lichtman declared Bush a shoo-in; and ’92, when Bush led Clinton by 15 points in Spring, but was a dead duck in Lichtman’s system).
No one’s saying Go to frickin’ sleep for 16 months; obviously the White House is going to do everything it can to campaign. What Lichtman’s system says is, based on 150 years observation, and 30 years ahead-of-time predicting, Obama is, contrary to today’s poll or pundit musing, in quite strong shape for re-election.
I’m amazed at how completely resistant people are to such a well-researched and plotted — and successful — system. Is it because it takes away the “today’s event was crucial!” excitement of politics?
I think you are right. There were and still are just too many structural problems with so much poison in the system, it was always going to take a long period before we could come close to calling this a recovery.
The religious like zeal of promoting more stimulus will not fix those structural problems, and is meant simply to keep us from bottoming out, and even then, we are in for a long term recovery this time, and like you say, energy independence breakthrough markets will be what sends us on the course of prosperity that can be called a full recovery.
That is why I consider the Stimulus Bill to be one of the shining successes to Obama’s legacy, the investments into researching alternative energies and other potential future markets like in biotech and IT.
The mind set has settled onto the blogs that stimulus will create permanent jobs in the private sector. That is not what it is designed to do.
Glad you are here, with some fresh thinking away from the econ dogma that pretty much owns this place.
Lichtman used results from all those previous elections to come up with the keys. As a result, they have a deep foundation in a large number of elections, not just the past few. Nor are they some simplistic application of a single rule of thumb (“presidents can’t win reelection if unemployment is over x%”), or the “discovery” of some random correlation that only applies to a small number of recent elections (“Presidents who win years divisible by 20 die in office”). Finally, they’re not an excuse for complacency (the keys assume both incumbents and challengers run the most serious campaigns they can).
People who haven’t bothered to learn much of anything about Lichtman’s system often airily dismiss it, as with John and many of the commenters on this thread. This isn’t to say that it’s a perfect system, or that there aren’t valid objections. Still, I think a system which correctly predicted the past seven elections without any use of polling data, and up to a year ahead of the election date, if probably more substantial than many here give it credit for.
Look, Obama had to change his speech date today. Obviously, he’s not going to be re-elected.
Gawd I am so tired of the competitive system of doing anything: business (capitalism), politics.
It has a fatal flaw, one that Richard Stallman noted some 20 years ago.
The idea behind competition is great in principle: everyone wins because the competitors are trying to outdo each other being BETTER at what they do, and, their competition moves business, technology, our political system, and society forwards.
The bug or vulnerablility in competition– as master hacker Stallman pointed out– is that too often it is easier to win not by being BETTER than everyone, but by DESTROYING THEM or tripping them up or cheating. We see that all the time in business: don’t provide a better product or service than your competitors, just crush them with anticompetitive racketeering and over-the-top marketing.
And now we see it in politics. The Repugs, for the last 10 years especially, have been winning, not by being better at governance, but by destroying their competitors– impeachment, hostage-taking, lying out their ass, playing culture-war games, personal destruction politics, voter disenfranchisement, outright cheating on elections tabulations, and now by trying to destroy the USA itself.
Seriously. The Repugs hope to gain power by destroying the country. Treason is what it is. Treason.
There was a great graph at an econ blog I read the other day (from this post.):
The crazy thing that almost nobody talks about is that this may be the first time in the history of U.S. economic statistics (i.e. at least in the last 100 years or so) that a recovery has not gotten us back to the previous peak GDP (inflation adjusted). Given that we’re likely to have at least one if not two negative GDP quarters this year, that means that our recovery was only partial.
Given the oil constraint, we’re likely to see that happen going forward: each recession is followed by a recovery, but that recovery only gets us part of the way back up the hill. By then we have another downturn/recession, and so on. 20 years of that and we may be looking at persistent 15-20% unemployment (U3) and a standard of living far below what we have today.
The new talk around the town seems to be “Republicans are assholes for obstructing everything Obama wants to do, so give them the presidency and let the fucking government function again”
I’m actually beginning to think his most powerful opponent isn’t the economy, but the lack of a functioning government.
That’s going to be their campaign motto, and it has a good chance of working. Nate Silver says that the chances for a divided government are slim since even low information voters can see that divided government isn’t working.
The people don’t vote for divided government as often as we think. In fact, if you take the popular vote into consideration, they haven’t since 1988. Dems won the popular vote in the Congress in 1992, 1996 and 2008 and Reps won in 2000 and 2004. Gerrymandering fucks Democrats.
I think it’s possible, even likely, people vote Dem for President and Congress next year, but gerrymandering and the layout of the Senate races gives Republicans the majority there.
Yeah, Democrats absolutely could fuck up this election. Been there, done that. Ever since the DLC started fixing things and getting them to dump their base.
Know what is a leading indicator of election outcomes? Unemployment. Not deficits.
Enough with the deficits, m’kay?
Add pure math to the list.
Why is Shakira’s ass unlike every other ass ?
The holy sedere .
(OK that’s not at all funny, but it is an authentic Hebrew-Italian pun)
In 1999, when I saw the first Bush-Gore debate, I thought Bush couldn’t possibly win. After his performance, I was astonished Republicans had picked someone to run for to be President who was so obviously unfit for the job, but after his incompetence was so clearly demonstrated in a public venue, I didn’t think he could possibly win.
In 2003, I thought Bush couldn’t possibly win. He’d barely won the first time (and that was the help of the supreme court). Since then, he’d championed a war that would cost thousands of American lives, and even the Republican charged with investigating the matter admitted the stated reasons for going to war were completely false. I didn’t think you could declare a war giving a causus belli that turned out to be entirely false, and then just say, oops, well it wasn’t my fault, and it was a good thing we went to war anyway. But he did just that, and won by a second term (and that’s ignoring the financial scandals that we’re being uncovered at the time). Even the proprietor of this blog site who seems like a reasonable fellow voted for him.
So that was it. Since then, I’ve admitted to myself I don’t have a clue how the American people vote or who’s likely to get elected.
Obama is a lock. Period. Whoever is GOPNom has to make up 6 million votes in a less white, more Hispanic election. Nah. Guh. Happen.
So now your reason to WORK is to put a Democrat in your district and get them to fix health care up RIGHT this time and not let shitheels like Baucus and Joementum fuck it up.
If you must be terrified of the national election, then say the words ‘Supreme Court’ to yourself a few times and GET TO FUCKING WORK. Instead of bitching at the left who you simultaneously claim is too small to matter and the sure source of Obama’s defeat.
Impossible since the DLC was created in the 90s and Dems have been fucking up elections since 1972.
Seven. Seven trials. And he thinks this is “beyond statistical significance”.
In a way, he’s right.
@Elizabelle: Don’t be faint-hearted. Democracy is not for the weak.
Yeah. That’s it.
Voter: “We remember you can’t drive the car.
Now — full speed ahead. Over that cliff!”
@mk3872: is this a rhetorical question?
@OzoneR: And part of the reason why the DLC had the success it had was precisely by working to counteract popular opinion about the “Democratic base” and “Democratic politicians.” In short, people started to turn against liberalism, and Democratic liberals got trounced in ’72, ’84, and ’88, and so some guys came up with an idea that winning over white people in the south and midwest by running as Democrats who were _also_ dismayed by liberalism could be a ticket to victory. And it worked. And that’s why they keep trying it: because when it works, it makes inroads into hostile territory, and expands the playing field for Democrats — at the cost of ideological coherence. DLC and pro-business Democrats have been bad for liberalism, but liberalism can’t anchor a majority, and the closest thing we’re likely to see to a bona fide liberal activist government we just saw, in the years 2009 and 2010. Not a pretty picture, is it?
DLC strategy never works. How did the DLC “work” exactly? It sortof got Bill Clinton elected–even though he was way more liberal than the DLC was. The DLC managed to lose both houses of congress for a dozen years and got the 2000 Dem nominee a green challenger from the disaffected base. That’s not exactly a picture of success.
Meanwhile, those pesky “liberals” managed to win a lot of congressional seats in the 80’s. Yes, the DLC had some success in the late 80’s and early 90’s, but it was very short lived gimmick. No one wants to elect a politician who hates who they are.
The DLC failed miserably because it violated the cardinal rule of a party–be true to yourself. It continues to fail today as we see with Obama’s crappy poll numbers resulting from his full on DLC fetish.
I’d had my eye-opening on this subject years earlier, with Reagan. I always considered him an obvious simpleton, whose foolishness and senility led to deficits, a pointless paroxysm of military spending, and eventually to Iran-Contra, as big a scandal as Watergate if the DC political class hadn’t become corrupted. Yet he was and is lionized as some sort of statesman.
Indeed, the POTUS is not nearly a lock for the Democratic Party nor President Obama in 2012.
An unemployment rate of over 9%, ~30,000,000 un- or under-employed and the new financing reality for politics brought to us by the Roberts’ Court’s Flanagist 5 makes Obama’s re-election the anti-thesis of a lock. Add to that the GOP’s state-by-state strategy to rewrite the Voting Rights Act, a project well underway, that will disenfranchise millions more.
It will be a shame to see the President’s operation raise and spend nearly $1 billion and still lose. Hopefully, his rapacious need for funds won’t drain the streams for House and Senate Democrats.
Not so, chipmunk.
I was alive then. I remember.
Ross Perot deserves more credit.
They had some actual good policies here and they. However, they were adamantly opposed to the liberal wing of the party far more than Republicans. They would criticize libs abuot 20x more than Repubs.
That tendency is alive and well today. Sell out early and often, sell off the legislative victories of earlier generations.
the biggest and possibly most harmful legacy was to get the Dems to diss their base. Triangulation, Sistah Souljah, all that stuff followed. Along with decline of Dem power!
DLC = corporate whores
1968 and 1966 didn’t go so well either. Basically Dems have been fucking up elections ever since LBJ signed the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts into law. I wonder why that is?