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Looks like re-election



2 types of stories arise at this time of year: the ones looking back at the previous year and the ones looking ahead to next year. Satchel Paige said, don't look back, something might be gaining on you. So here is to 2020.

The biggest question in 2020 is whether Americans will re-elect President Donald John Trump because in his fate is the future of globalism. Without the United States to pay for it all, globalism is dead.

Readers know where I fall on the election, but where do the two most successful models for forecasting presidential election outcomes fall?

I will start with Allan Lichtman's model, The Keys to the White House, which was created in response to the surprise landslide by Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Those keys are:
  1. Party Mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives than after the previous midterm 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.
Let us review.

The first key goes to Democrats. Republicans held the House after the 2014 midterm, but lost it in the 2018 midterm.

The second and third keys go to President Trump. He owns the White House, and Republicans want to keep him there for another 4 years.

The fourth key likely is in his favor. A third party topping 5% is unlikely, and if one emerges, it will take votes from Democrats. Republicans under him were a third party in 2016.

The fifth and sixth keys also go to The Donald. A recession -- six consecutive months or more of the economy shrinking -- is unlikely especially after an initial deal with Red China.

The stock market though is due for another correction, hopefully not as steep as 2018's. What goes up must go down a little before it can go up even higher in the stock market. Pay attention to Warren Buffett's moves.

The seventh key also goes to President Trump because his tax cuts and regulatory relief are working.

Democrats get keys eight and nine thanks to their fake resistance and phony impeachment. This is not fair. Life is unfair.

So far, keys ten and eleven are split. President Trump has had no military bungles but he has had no great successes either. I am trying to be objective.

The last two keys are President Trump's. His charisma is greater than the combined charisma of all the Democrat candidates and Obama. In just 40 short years, he has built himself into a superstar celebrity.

I give the president a minimum of nine keys, which would get him 30 to 35 states. He carried 30 states last time. I see possible pickups in Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Mexico.

But if Governor Blackface keeps alienating Virginians with his gun confiscation plan, I see a Old Virginny flipping.

Moody’s Analytics also uses the economy to forecast the election, and its three models all have The Donald winning again.

Its stock market model gives him 289 Electoral College votes, the unemployment model gives him 332, and the pocketbook model gives him 351.

Given that the stock market is up 50% since his election and unemployment is 3.5% -- a 50-year low -- I question how his results under those models can be so low.

Events drive presidential politics but next Friday puts us 10 months away from Election Day. As we begin a new year, overconfidence and complacency are the biggest threat to 4 more years.

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