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Author Topic: Reassessing the keys  (Read 2043 times)
NCeriale
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« on: October 08, 2011, 02:40:47 pm »
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Changes in bold, in the wake of Solyndra and the impending double dip:

Outlining the Keys:

    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)

    KEY 2 (Contest): There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. (TRUE)

    KEY 3 (Incumbency): The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. (TRUE)

    KEY 4 (Third party): There is no significant third party or independent campaign. (TRUE)

    KEY 5 (Short-term economy): The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. (FALSE)

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

    KEY 7 (Policy change): The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. (TRUE) I really disagree with this, health care reform is a net negative

    KEY 8 (Social unrest): There is no sustained social unrest during the term. (TRUE)

    KEY 9 (Scandal): The administration is untainted by major scandal. (FALSE - Solyndra, Fast and Furious)

    KEY 10 (Foreign/military failure): The administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. (TRUE)

    KEY 11 (Foreign/military success): The administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. (FALSE)

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

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

That leaves us with 6-7 keys going against Obama, depending on how we judge health-care reform. I don't like the odds in this case
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Bull Moose Base
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 02:45:55 pm »
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We're in a recession?  Those are major scandals?  This was a serious measure of anything anyway?
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 03:00:13 pm »
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Wouldn't key 11 go for Obama? Getting Bin Laden? From a psychological standpoint that was pretty big.
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 03:19:41 pm »
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I've underlined the non-ambiguous conclusions.

    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)

    KEY 2 (Contest): There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. (TRUE)

    KEY 3 (Incumbency): The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting president. (TRUE)

    KEY 4 (Third party): There is no significant third party or independent campaign. (TRUE OR FALSE) The opportunity exists, if someone who can self-fund decides to have a go of it.

    KEY 5 (Short-term economy): The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. (TRUE OR FALSE) Still unclear

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

    KEY 7 (Policy change): The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. (TRUE)

    KEY 8 (Social unrest): There is no sustained social unrest during the term. (TRUE)

    KEY 9 (Scandal): The administration is untainted by major scandal. (TRUE OR FALSE) - I'm not sure that F2F or Solyndra are important enough to qualify as "major" scandals; I'd welcome a correction if Lichtman's definition makes it clear that they do

    KEY 10 (Foreign/military failure): The administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. (TRUE OR FALSE) Iraq and Afghanistan may qualify, especially if we see an uptick in combat deaths in either theater. Also, the possibility of a major terrorist attack occuring in the United States.

    KEY 11 (Foreign/military success): The administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. (TRUE OR FALSE) Killing Osama may qualify

    KEY 12 (Incumbent charisma): The incumbent-party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. (TRUE OR FALSE) What is Lichtman's definition of "charisma"?

    KEY 13 (Challenger charisma): The challenging-party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. (TRUE OR FALSE) Again, what is Lichtman's definition of "charisma"? I doubt that Perry or Romney would qualify, but i wouldn't make the call without knowing Lichtman's criteria.


Obama holds four keys unambiguously: 2, 3, 7, 8
Obama does not hold two keys 1 or 6.
Whether or not Obama holds the remaining six keys depends on future events, our interpretation of past events, and the definitions of certain terms: 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 03:45:13 pm »
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I think personal favorability ratings are the most objective proxy we can come up with for 12 & 13.
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2011, 03:48:17 pm »
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I think personal favorability ratings are the most objective proxy we can come up with for 12 & 13.

I recall that Lichtman responded to Nate Silver's criticism of the Keys by complaining that Silver didn't bother reading Lichtman's explanations. It's possibly that Lichtman is just a charlatan trying to sell more books, but without more information I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and refrain from making a call with respect to these Keys.
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« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2011, 04:04:53 pm »
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Solyndra and Fast & Furious definitely don't qualify as "major" scandals, which I interpret to mean Teapot Dome/Watergate/Lewinsky- level (did Iran-Contra turn that key?) Key 5 we probably won't know for several months. I suppose Key 8 could turn if Occupy Wall Street continues and escalates into something more serious.
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« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2011, 04:12:13 pm »
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Solyndra and Fast & Furious definitely don't qualify as "major" scandals, which I interpret to mean Teapot Dome/Watergate/Lewinsky- level (did Iran-Contra turn that key?) Key 5 we probably won't know for several months. I suppose Key 8 could turn if Occupy Wall Street continues and escalates into something more serious.

This.

And as far as foreign/military success, I can think of at least four without even trying:

1. Killing Osama Bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki
2. Libya campaign
3. Iraq War Drawdown
4. START
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« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2011, 04:26:43 pm »
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Depends--the economy sucks, but it's technically growing. Solyndra was a crappy investment, but not a scandal.
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2011, 04:47:14 pm »
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So you're saying that in 20 years we're going to look back on Solyndra in the same way, or at least similarly in importance,  as we do the Lewinksi scandal?
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muon2
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« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2011, 06:46:20 pm »
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Solyndra and Fast & Furious definitely don't qualify as "major" scandals, which I interpret to mean Teapot Dome/Watergate/Lewinsky- level (did Iran-Contra turn that key?) Key 5 we probably won't know for several months. I suppose Key 8 could turn if Occupy Wall Street continues and escalates into something more serious.

The scandal key requires that the events directly touch the President: What did he know, and when did he know it? It's not at that point now.However, there is a back door to the scandal key, and that is if there is a widespread appearance of cabinet-level scandal; the "mess in Washington" that affected Truman's full (ie 2nd) term was enough to turn the key for 1952. Here is a description of those events from the Truman Library as told by newspaperman Gould Lincoln.

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LINCOLN: Well, people said so, but I have no way of knowing. It was called the "mess in Washington" at that time, as you recall. Everyone was attacking Mr. Truman because of favors he'd done for friends, or something or other, but they were so darn minor that this irritates me when people talk about it. It was known as the "mess in Washington". That's one of the reasons everybody thought that Mr. Truman was not going to run.
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« Reply #11 on: October 08, 2011, 06:53:59 pm »
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And as far as foreign/military success, I can think of at least four without even trying:

1. Killing Osama Bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki
2. Libya campaign
3. Iraq War Drawdown
4. START


Capturing or killing bin Laden would have been sufficient for Bush, so I expect that it is sufficient for Obama, too.
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« Reply #12 on: October 08, 2011, 09:04:11 pm »
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And as far as foreign/military success, I can think of at least four without even trying:

1. Killing Osama Bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki
2. Libya campaign
3. Iraq War Drawdown
4. START


Though I would call numbers 1, 3, and 4 successes, even bin Laden was not seen as a major plus for Obama.

Ironically, even though I give Obama high marks for the military overall, he has not gotten credit for it.  Iraq and START are very weak.

Libya, because it still is ongoing and had a minimal US role (though a correct one), isn't a factor at all.
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2011, 01:57:46 am »
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This key system is overrated, but Obama will most likely have 7.

Obama has: 2,3,7,8,11
Obama will most likely have: 4,9,10
Open to debate/unclear: 5, 12, 13
Obama doesn't have: 1,6
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Bacon King
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2011, 03:28:53 am »

The Keys are mostly bollocks.

That said, however, Lichtman actually has fairly strict methodology regarding when a specific key applies or not.

Key 7 is true; the "major policy change" doesn't have to be a change the public likes. Key 9 is false, because those things don't count as "major" scandals; even Iran-Contra didn't trigger this. Key 10 doesn't apply just because we're still in Afghanistan or whatever, for this one to be true there basically has to be a major and sudden failure- think Bay of Pigs or the Iran Hostage Crisis (the Vietnam War counted in '68 because of the Tet Offensive). Key 11 is true, because killing Osama Bin Laden counts as a major success- public recognition, or whatever, doesn't matter for Lichtman's criteria here.  Also, Key 12 and 13 are both false in 2012.

For the curious: http://books.google.com/books?id=ZvLsCOb-gU8C&lpg=PA42&ots=HRBa-cKL2H&dq=lichtman%20test%20key%2011&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false
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« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2011, 10:26:46 am »
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The fact that Obama was an easy shoo-in for the "Charisma" key in 2008 and isn't seen as charismatic at all by 2012 goes to show how 3 years of presiding over a country that's collapsing at the seams will make anyone seem uncharismatic.
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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2011, 10:58:06 am »
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Prior to reading this thread, I'd never heard of something like "Solyndra" in my life.

Whatever it is about, it's probably not a "major" scandal for that very reason.
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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2011, 11:37:20 am »
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Prior to reading this thread, I'd never heard of something like "Solyndra" in my life.

Whatever it is about, it's probably not a "major" scandal for that very reason.


Attorneys rarely know anything about accounting or financial analysis. Most can do many things -- medicine of any kind, engineering, scientific research, and accounting generally excluded, and all for good reason. Those are highly specialized to the extent that the people who do them generally sacrifice whatever competence they have in anything else during their training. Physicians, pharmacists, veterinarians, nurses, dentists, chemists, physicists, biologists, systems analysts, engineers, and accountants are smart people, but their learning is incompatible with what the Presidency requires. 

Dubya made a bigger blunder in becoming a more intimate buddy of crooks at Enron, and that did not keep him from winning re-election. This is from someone with an MBA who had poor judgment of the character of people he was dealing with. Sociopathic con-artists bamboozled Dubya; the prospect of scientific and engineering miracles dazzled President Obama.   
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« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2011, 05:26:55 pm »
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The fact that Obama was an easy shoo-in for the "Charisma" key in 2008 and isn't seen as charismatic at all by 2012 goes to show how 3 years of presiding over a country that's collapsing at the seams will make anyone seem uncharismatic.

Maybe he gets half a key? He's more charismatic than any of the gop candidates.
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« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2011, 02:25:54 am »
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I sincerely question whether "Health Care Reform" qualifies as a major change.
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« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2011, 08:40:13 am »
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I sincerely question whether "Health Care Reform" qualifies as a major change.

It isn't the only one. During the 111th Congress the President got a flurry of legislation passed. For a clear contrast, look at the President that Republicans would love to compare the current President to (Jimmy Carter) and the contrast is clear:

http://obamaachievements.org/list

Some of these aren't legislative, but all in all, this isn't President Carter, whose legislative achievements were effectively nil. It's safe to say that a President who fails to get much legislation passed (like Carter) isn't getting much change enacted. When it came time to choose between Reagan and Carter in 1980, President Carter had to make fresh promises; voters asked themselves "Why didn't he do this by now? He has had four years already!"... and Ronald Reagan had much more credibility.   

He has achieved little in the 112th Congress, but for that one has Congress to fault.  He got more achieved in the Lame Duck session than most Presidents get achieved in a full term. President Obama wins this key. That many people dislike his achievements is little surprise; so it was with the Civil Rights Act and the Great Society.

In achieving legislative change he is more like LBJ than like Jimmy Carter. I can almost predict that he will promise results like those of the 111th Congress... but "It will take your help!"  He can run against the current House majority.

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« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2011, 09:06:03 am »
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    KEY 5 (Short-term economy): The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. (FALSE)

The recession ended in 2009 and the economy has been growing ever since.  Do you know something the rest of us don't?

    KEY 9 (Scandal): The administration is untainted by major scandal. (FALSE - Solyndra, Fast and Furious)

No one I know is calling the chatter around Solyndra or Fast and Furious a "major scandal."  But I don't watch Fox News so that might have something to do with it.

    KEY 11 (Foreign/military success): The administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. (FALSE)

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« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2011, 09:12:48 am »
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Libya, because it still is ongoing and had a minimal US role (though a correct one), isn't a factor at all.

You are wrong.

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Libya: NATO Takes Lead, Americans Do 65% of Work

http://reason.com/blog/2011/05/26/libya-nato-takes-lead-american
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« Reply #23 on: January 11, 2012, 01:43:12 pm »
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Changes in bold, in the wake of Solyndra and the impending double dip:

Outlining the Keys:

    KEY 5 (Short-term economy): The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. (FALSE)


    KEY 9 (Scandal): The administration is untainted by major scandal. (FALSE - Solyndra, Fast and Furious)


    KEY 11 (Foreign/military success): The administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. (FALSE)


That leaves us with 6-7 keys going against Obama, depending on how we judge health-care reform. I don't like the odds in this case


    KEY 9 (Scandal): The administration is untainted by major scandal. (FALSE - Solyndra, Fast and Furious)

Is anyone still talking about either of these non-issues?

Changes in bold, in the wake of Solyndra and the impending double dip:

Errrr... what double dip?  The phoney right wing wet dream double dip that started last summer?

    KEY 11 (Foreign/military success): The administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. (FALSE)

It would be cruel of me to point out exactly how absurd this statement is.
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« Reply #24 on: January 11, 2012, 02:20:47 pm »
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Changes in bold, in the wake of Solyndra and the impending double dip:

Outlining the Keys:

    KEY 5 (Short-term economy): The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. (FALSE)


    KEY 9 (Scandal): The administration is untainted by major scandal. (FALSE - Solyndra, Fast and Furious)


    KEY 11 (Foreign/military success): The administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. (FALSE)


That leaves us with 6-7 keys going against Obama, depending on how we judge health-care reform. I don't like the odds in this case


    KEY 9 (Scandal): The administration is untainted by major scandal. (FALSE - Solyndra, Fast and Furious)

Is anyone still talking about either of these non-issues?

Changes in bold, in the wake of Solyndra and the impending double dip:

Errrr... what double dip?  The phoney right wing wet dream double dip that started last summer?

    KEY 11 (Foreign/military success): The administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. (FALSE)

It would be cruel of me to point out exactly how absurd this statement is.

The only people who care about Solyndra and Fast and Furious at this point are talk radio guys who are going to repeat them over and over again as we get towards November in order to drive up the base. Solyndra coming apart didn't cause an economic down turn. The only thing that seemed to of threatened such was the game played with raising the debt limit.

I fully expect Obama to play up his military and foreign policy successes (killing bin Laden, getting out of Iraq and Iraq not changing a whole lot for better or worse right after). He'd be a fool to let people forget these things. Heck, the Republicans muse in their debates about how there might be covert ops against Iranian nuclear efforts. If this is true or not, they're admitting right out that Obama might be up to something good on that front.

But yeah, the keys are an interesting game but I trust poll data more than them.
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I'll come up with one later.
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