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Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House, 2020

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In the days after Donald Trump's unexpected victory on election night 2016, The New York Times, CNN, and other leading media outlets reached out to one of the few pundits who had correctly predicted the outcome, Allan J. Lichtman. While many election forecasters base their findings exclusively on public opinion polls, Lichtman looks at the underlying fundamentals that have In the days after Donald Trump's unexpected victory on election night 2016, The New York Times, CNN, and other leading media outlets reached out to one of the few pundits who had correctly predicted the outcome, Allan J. Lichtman. While many election forecasters base their findings exclusively on public opinion polls, Lichtman looks at the underlying fundamentals that have driven every presidential election since 1860. Using his 13 historical factors or "keys" (four political, seven performance, and two personality), that determine the outcome of presidential elections, Lichtman had been predicting Trump's win since September 2016. In the updated 2020 edition of this classic text, Lichtman applies the keys to every presidential election since 1860 and shows readers the current state of the 2020 race. In doing so, he dispels much of the mystery behind electoral politics and challenges many traditional assumptions. An indispensable resource for political junkies!


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In the days after Donald Trump's unexpected victory on election night 2016, The New York Times, CNN, and other leading media outlets reached out to one of the few pundits who had correctly predicted the outcome, Allan J. Lichtman. While many election forecasters base their findings exclusively on public opinion polls, Lichtman looks at the underlying fundamentals that have In the days after Donald Trump's unexpected victory on election night 2016, The New York Times, CNN, and other leading media outlets reached out to one of the few pundits who had correctly predicted the outcome, Allan J. Lichtman. While many election forecasters base their findings exclusively on public opinion polls, Lichtman looks at the underlying fundamentals that have driven every presidential election since 1860. Using his 13 historical factors or "keys" (four political, seven performance, and two personality), that determine the outcome of presidential elections, Lichtman had been predicting Trump's win since September 2016. In the updated 2020 edition of this classic text, Lichtman applies the keys to every presidential election since 1860 and shows readers the current state of the 2020 race. In doing so, he dispels much of the mystery behind electoral politics and challenges many traditional assumptions. An indispensable resource for political junkies!

38 review for Predicting the Next President: The Keys to the White House, 2020

  1. 5 out of 5

    Shane

    I picked this one up having seen the author on a news program. I read maybe half the book, then it got lost for months in a "want to read" stack I have in my den. Given the election is now days away, I found Predicting and finished it today. It's an interesting premise. It says that polls don't matter, only specific circumstances, some at least nominally under a President's control and some not at all, that determine the outcome of US presidential elections. There are thirteen such factors, calle I picked this one up having seen the author on a news program. I read maybe half the book, then it got lost for months in a "want to read" stack I have in my den. Given the election is now days away, I found Predicting and finished it today. It's an interesting premise. It says that polls don't matter, only specific circumstances, some at least nominally under a President's control and some not at all, that determine the outcome of US presidential elections. There are thirteen such factors, called "keys," and if six or more are false, the incumbent party loses. Using this methodology, Mr. Lichtman briefly discusses every US election since 1860 and has correctly predicted the outcome in every case except 2000 (when the Electoral College threw a wrench in the works). The author would say that given that there hadn't been a split between the popular vote and the outcome since 1888 this was so rare as to not need to be considered, but of course it has now happened twice in the twenty-first century. So the model was slightly modified and now, supposedly it rings true. Of course, thee is no way to know how much of this is retro-fitting and how much true prediction. That said, this book was first published in 1996 and it's been right since then (except 2000, when it predicted a narrow win for Gore). Of note, he successfully predicted Trump's victory in 2016 which very few pollsters and prognosticators did. This is the 2020 edition, with a few pages tacked on from previous versions describing this year. So, what will happen on November 3? Mr. Lichtman says Biden wins. (At the time of this books publication, in June 2020, he was saying it was probably Biden, but two keys were not 100% clear as of Election Day. He has since updated his opinion given where we are right now.) I guess we'll see if he's right. Recommended for political junkies whether he's right about 2020 or not. The keys are good food for thought and the synopses of all of the past elections makes for interesting reading.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Antonio Nunez

    Prof Lichtman’s 2020 edition of his classic book on predicting presidential elections was a thought provoking read, particularly if read during the final puss of the election and the vote-count. Although he did not commit to a Biden victory, he correctly surmised that results would be extremely tight, which is much closer to what happened than the Democrat surge predicted by most pollsters. His technique of 13 keys of which the incumbent or the ruling party may not lose 6 or more without losing Prof Lichtman’s 2020 edition of his classic book on predicting presidential elections was a thought provoking read, particularly if read during the final puss of the election and the vote-count. Although he did not commit to a Biden victory, he correctly surmised that results would be extremely tight, which is much closer to what happened than the Democrat surge predicted by most pollsters. His technique of 13 keys of which the incumbent or the ruling party may not lose 6 or more without losing the election, seems to work. His analysis of presidential elections since 1850 viewed from this angle was fascinating. His conclusion that campaigns are more or less irrelevant because people are smart enough to know what’s what is refreshing, in this era in which voters as dismissed as nincompoops too dumb to figure they’re being had. His advice at the end is sensible and convincing. If a challenger knows he or she does not have they keys to win, he or she should run an honest, ideological campaign at the end of which at least he or she will be respected and possibly even seen as a future candidate again. Very cogent read.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Professor Lichtman is famous for his skill at predicting presidential election winners, and although his approach is unorthodox (no polls, no study of demographics or migration patterns, no analysis of their actual platforms) he has bragging rights because his method actually delivers. This book describes not only the system itself but also takes you on a journey through almost every election going as far back as Abraham Lincoln. The one exception is 2016, which is mysteriously absent. This was v Professor Lichtman is famous for his skill at predicting presidential election winners, and although his approach is unorthodox (no polls, no study of demographics or migration patterns, no analysis of their actual platforms) he has bragging rights because his method actually delivers. This book describes not only the system itself but also takes you on a journey through almost every election going as far back as Abraham Lincoln. The one exception is 2016, which is mysteriously absent. This was very much his claim to fame because he was right when pretty much everyone else was wrong. I don't understand why it wasn't included. I would've liked to learn more about how he came to his decision. In any case, the commentary on past elections is helpful because it gives context to his system and allows the reader to apply the keys in real elections. It also serves as case studies on just how much it takes (or not) to flip certain keys and potentially an entire race.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Yukari Watanabe

    It's interesting, but 2016 chapter is missing. I really wanted to read about it and I was disappointed. It's interesting, but 2016 chapter is missing. I really wanted to read about it and I was disappointed.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Heleen Osse

  6. 4 out of 5

    Myra Lehmann

  7. 4 out of 5

    Irene

  8. 5 out of 5

    Keaton Wenz

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    Randy

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    Susan M.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ben Schierman

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jonny

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    Sarah

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    Mohammed AlDossary

  16. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Banke

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    Dawn McDougald

  18. 5 out of 5

    Grete

  19. 4 out of 5

    MichaelW

  20. 5 out of 5

    Gwen

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    Jenny

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    Sherwin Gatchalian

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    Matt

  24. 4 out of 5

    Toby Dempsey

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kenny Lai

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    Josh

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    Seth

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    Nate

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    Anton Begehr

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    William

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    Janelle Sheely

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    Arief

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    Thomas Butler

  34. 4 out of 5

    Gautam Sivakumar

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    Lorraine

  36. 4 out of 5

    Angel Garrow

  37. 5 out of 5

    Ishfaaq Peerally

  38. 5 out of 5

    Michael Piggott

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