As background, the information below is from a book, “The Keys to the White House”. It’s a fascinating read and basically maps out why polls, pundits, commentators and the media often get it so very wrong when trying to predict the outcome of a General Election in the US. The whole book is worth reading, if you have a real interest in the historic data, and non-partisan evaluation of previous elections to use as an information source for future elections. For the purpose of this thread, I thought it would be cool to focus just on one particular piece of the book…. The 13 key indicators to predicting the outcome of the election. The 13 Keys The Keys to the White House are stated as conditions that favour re-election of the incumbent party. When 5 or fewer statements are false, the incumbent party wins. When six or more are false, the incumbent party loses. Key 1: Incumbent-party mandate: After the mid-term elections, the incumbent party holds more seats in the US House of Representatives than it did after the previous mid-term elections. Key 2: Nomination-contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent-party nomination. Key 3: Incumbency: The incumbent-party candidate is the sitting President. Key 4: Third party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign. Key 5: Short term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. Key 6: Long term economy: Real annual per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. Key 7: Policy Change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. Key 8: Social Unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term. Key 9: Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by major scandal. Key 10: Foreign or military failure: The incumbent suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. Key 11: Foreign or military success: The incumbent suffers achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. Key 12: Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. Key 13: Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. The keys to the White House: a surefire guide to predicting the next president - Allan J. Lichtman - Google Books If you put your own personal political bullshit to one side for a few minutes, and honestly evaluate this Administration with critical thought.... how many 'false' responses does Obama get? As an aside, it's worth clicking on the link and reading the e-book selection available. It's really interesting.