Obama will return to office in 2012, predicts historian

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Washington, July 17 (ANI): A historian has predicted that US President Barack Obama will win re-elections in 2012.

"Nothing that a candidate has said or done during a campaign, when the public discounts everything as political, has changed his prospects at the polls. Debates, advertising, television appearances, news coverage, and campaign strategies-the usual grist for the punditry mills-count for virtually nothing on Election Day," said American University Professor Allan Lichtman.

In his renowned book Keys to the White House, Lichtman lists "13 Keys", which are conditions that favour re-election of the incumbent party candidate. When five or fewer are false, the incumbent party candidate wins. When six or more are false, the other party candidate wins.

Lichtman's "13 Keys" system predicted George W. Bush's 2004 reelection as early as April 2003, Al Gore's popular vote victory in 2000, Bill Clinton's win in 1996, George Bush's defeat in 1992, and the outcome of the 1988 presidential election when Michael Dukakis was well ahead in the polls.

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. (TRUE)

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)

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)

Lichtman said: "The Keys show that elections are not horse races in which candidates surge ahead or fall behind on the campaign trail, with pollsters keeping score.

"Rather, a pragmatic American electorate chooses a president according to the performance of the party holding the White House as measured by the consequential events and episodes of a term - economic boom and bust, foreign policy successes and failures, social unrest, scandal, and policy innovation.". (ANI)

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