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Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House

Allan Lichtman has unlocked the secret to counting the vote

Can’t stand to wait another week to know who’s going to be president?
    Ask Allan Lichtman.
    “My 13 questions will tell you who will claim the popular vote,” says the American University political professor, a Marylander who ran for the U.S. Senate in 2006.
    His keys have called it right in every election since the middle of the 19th century, when the popular vote was first counted.
    Of course many of those successes were retroactive. Lichtman’s Keys was first published in 1996. An eighth edition came out this year to unlock 2012.
    An incumbent, scandal-free president whose nomination was unopposed and faces no major third party candidate scores four. Add a major foreign policy success with no counterbalancing major blunders for two more. A major domestic policy initiative adds a key. And if the economy is not in recession on Election Day, Obama scores an eighth key.
    On the other hand, Romney scores two keys for Republican dominance in the House and an economy worse off since the incumbant was elected than in President George W. Bush’s prior two terms.
    If either candidate is a national hero or dominantly charismatic, he wins another key. Any major social unrest adds one for the challenger.
    How do you call it?
    Lichtman calls this one for Obama.
    “I also think he’ll win the electoral vote. In 27 of 28 elections since 1900, the political and electoral have gone the same way. There was only one exception, and you know what that was: 2000.”
    Want a grain of salt? Lichtman ran for Senate as a Democrat — and lost.